Did you know that this month is National Self-Care Awareness Month?

September is a moment to reawaken our consciousness of how essential it is to take care of ourselves. Let’s remind ourselves that we are our own top priority. Many times, we neglect self-care in our daily living and make excuses for a reason or the other. Some of us can go several distances for others by senior caregiving, yet we allow ourselves to burnout. We need to be deliberate about prioritizing self-care a core of our daily living. When we intentionally show kindness to ourselves, it becomes much easier to extend kindness to the world. When we are the best versions of ourselves, then we can truly help create the greatest impact in this world. When self-care is regularly practiced then we will be able to yield result in all aspects- personal, social, and economical.

Are you wondering, how do we define self-care and wellness?

Self-care is all about putting yourself at the focus of your life. It is an essential part of the maintenance of good health and a happy lifestyle. It is not limited to going for a walk or an appointment at the spa. It is about the close monitoring of how you truly feel at every point; clear communication and letting go of emotional burdens. It is merely a pattern of living that helps you in your growth, refreshes you, and strengthens your soul. It knows no bound

Wellness, on the other hand, is an interplay of being aware and making good health choices to ensure a balanced and successful life. It integrates the mind, body, and spirit. Wellness is like a hinge; the backbone on which our existence rests.

How do we create and maintain wellness?

When we consider how we can optimize our wellness, we need to consider the following wellness factors.

  • Physical wellness. Physical wellness involves personal hygiene, proper nutrition, wearing clean clothes that match your style, regular exercise, muscular conditioning and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance, flexibility, and more.
  • Intellectual wellness. This is necessary for intellectual growth and to maintain cognitive ability. The same way we need to condition and work out our muscles, is the same way we need to work out and maintain our cognitive abilities. An intellectually healthy individual is willing to learn from life’s challenges and experiences. Someone who is a creative thinker, problem- solver and an open-minded learner. Such persons are always seeking opportunities to expand their minds and to identify ways to help the society become a better place.
  • Emotional wellness. Emotional wellness borders on your ability to accept your feelings and emotions while acknowledging that of others too. A person who is well emotionally can maintain healthy relationships in every sphere. Someone who has healthy self-esteem and is able to evaluate limitations, strengths and manage stress effectively.
  • Social wellness. Social wellness is essential for harmony with personal relationships and the greater community. Someone who is social, enjoys interacting with others, maintains relationships, and has healthy sexual behaviours.
  • Occupational wellness. As we transition into senior care, we can still maintain occupational wellness by volunteering and becoming active members of our community. This involves gaining satisfaction from fulfilling our roles in the community.
  • Spiritual wellness. You are spiritually well when you appreciate life and the forces controlling it yet allowing your actions to be guided by your beliefs and values. This involves keeping in touch with your inner human spirit and soul.

How do we practice self-care?

There is a close relationship between self-care and wellness. Achieving wellness will not happen without deliberate self-care. Self-care is vital in order to live a vibrant life of wellness. How will you practice self-care?

Here are a few tips.

  • Healthy eating. Maintaining a nutritious and well-balanced diet at regular intervals is the way. Fruits and vegetables, instead of processed foods, is ideal. When you eat, enjoy your food like royalty and enjoy every bite- you are doing yourself a considerable good. A healthy diet is important to prevent unwanted health conditions and to have endurance to stay active.
  • Sleep. This can never be overemphasized. You are recommended to sleep between seven to nine hours per night. If you are having restless nights, then there are resources available to support you. Adequate rest helps us to function optimally, enjoy life to its fullest, and to address life’s challenges more effectively.
  • Exercise. Those precious minutes set aside for exercise are so pivotal. Exercise helps to fight fatigue, boost our energy levels, and to alleviate stress. You are recommended to moderately exercise at least 2.5 hours per week or 1.5 hours of vigorous exercise.
  • Laughter. It’s not a cliché that laughter is the best medicine. Laugh. Take some time to laugh well. You could see a comic movie, chat with friends, or reflect on funny memories. The power inherent in laughter is a mighty one.
  • Pamper yourself. Yes, embrace yourself and all you are. Take those special moment to pamper yourself because well, you deserve it. Go for a massage session, manicure, give yourself a gift, and just celebrate you. Pamper yourself with luxuries you can afford.
  • Meditation. Meditate, breathe deeply, do some yoga or any activity you can to boost your feelings of joy and peace.
  • Daily special breaks. We have agreed that self-care needs to be deliberate, right? Yes! That is why you need to set aside at least thirty minutes each day to engage in an activity you really enjoy. It could be reading, a television or radio program, a walk in the park, it is up to you. When you take to relax and enjoy, you will gradually achieve the wellness state you have always desired. However, you must continually do a self-audit, a kind of evaluation about the state of wellness. Think about your progress, think about what aspects of wellness you aspire to work on to achieve an even greater state of  wellness.