Self care: Essential not Optional

Self care is a popular buzz word at the moment. Social media is littered with posts about it. I’m joining in writing this post about self care…

Has self care lost it’s way? As a society we work long hours, are attached to our mobiles and are always chasing the next must have… taking time out for self care therefore has never been more important and is essential for our wellbeing. However do we know what self care really is?

In the modern world basic human needs have somehow slipped into being classed as ‘self care’.

I recently attended a seminar on wellbeing and self care and at the end of the seminar a self care checklist was shown, a takeaway for us in the room to use to look after our wellbeing. I was shocked at the list. The take away ‘hacks’ included:

  • Eating healthy
  • Taking a lunch break
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Going for a walk
  • Drinking water

I was amazed at the realisation that many of us see the things in the above list as luxuries , something we have to consciously decide to do. Life is that hectic that we often neglect the very basics of wellbeing.

The irony is that we neglect the above in order to achieve our latest goal or to deliver at work but the reality is neglecting our wellbeing is counterproductive. We are no good to anyone if we are in poor mental or physical health.

Ultimately not looking after ourselves is what will jeopardise our longer term success not the fact we leave our desk for an hour to have a healthy lunch or that we turn our laptops off at 9pm to get some rest.

So if the above are the basic essentials what is self care?

Self care is about finding purpose in what you do, staying true to what you believe and your core values. It is about being your authentic self and being contented with your choices. It is about understanding who you are taking the time to develop as an individual.

Self care is about investing in you as much as you invest in work, in friends, in family.