Self-care is not self-indulgence, in fact, our most basic needs are the most foundational form of self-care, they are not an option they are a necessity.
Let me explain our 5 Foundational areas of Self-Care.
- Food – Our most basic need for food is, in fact, our very first form of self-care. What you eat becomes a part of you. Food is more than energy and nutrients, it has the capacity to be our most powerful medicine or to actively take away from our health.
Our body needs nutrients to renew, to build, and to strengthen. We have over 50 Trillion cells, that’s an inconceivable number, however, each one is dependent on nutrients for effective communication. When our body lacks essential nutrients due to a poor diet imagine the communication breakdown that results between our cells and the health complications that result.
“How we eat, drink, move, sleep, think, breathe, believe, perceive don’t just impact on how you feel, function and look today. They impact how you will feel, function and look in the future.” (Dr Libby Weaver)
- Water – The very essence of life. Our body needs water more than food, without water we can only live approximately 3 days. As an average our body is 70% water, no wonder dehydration is significant on our inner health and outer shine. Did you know our lungs are 90% water, our brain 76% water, our muscles 75% water, our blood 82% water and even our bones are 25% water.
Science suggests we need 33ml per kilo of body weight however when we consume plant-based foods, herbal teas and soups these all count in our water consumption, although certain foods and drinks containing caffeine or alcohol draw water out of the body.
Our body starts to be dehydrated when we are short just 600ml of water so make a plan to ensure you are drinking plenty of water each day. I will go into this more in a future post.
- Sleep – When we are tired, exhausted, everything in life is difficult. Time for our body to rest and repair is vital. Benefits of good sleep include – improved memory, cognition, immunity, improved mood, emotional resilience, endurance, and better hormone function. Everything works better with restorative sleep, even digestion. We are essentially the health of our cells and our cells repair during sleep. To look and feel our best 8 hours is recommended for optimal health.
- Movement – Physical movement creates strength, flexibility, restoration, and uplifts your mood. Unless we actively build muscle from 30 years of age onwards we will lose it. Increased motion and I’m not talking about intense gym workouts, enhances energy, productivity and a general feeling of wellness. Try adding a movement or stretch break for 3 to 5 minutes every hour and see the difference it makes.
- Mindfulness or Meditation (looking after our mental health) – Meditation regulates blood pressure, provides better clarity of thought by reducing mental chatter, reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep, improves breathing. In our information overload, highly distracted lives we’ve forgotten to live our own lives and what that even means. We need time to be still, to think, to dream, to plan. Even a few minutes of silence whilst enjoying a cuppa can help to relax the mind.
Self-care isn’t about the little luxuries of massages and manicures, although they have their place at times, self-care is about ensuring we are nurturing our body, mind, and spirit daily so that our cup is full and from the overflow, we can help and serve others.