Last year I set some wellbeing goals for myself.
There were seven (I was ambitious) and all of them based on wellbeing trends I saw emerging not as passing fads but important habits I needed to form for healthy survival in the modern world.
A world very different to the one I was born into, with empty streets, dial telephones, snail mail and simplicity.
Last week Forbes released an article about one of the trends I bang on about the most; SELF CARE! Confirming in mainstream media, its importance for survival & ‘productivity’?!
First, for all the Type A busy female readers out there who are already super women/mums I need to say this…
I personally believe that being creative and adding value is a natural byproduct of a healthy person.
We have to be careful what we prioritize. Prioritising productivity as a reason why we adopt healthy habits is like prioritising dieting for weight loss happiness! But when it comes to weight loss, dieting is the worst option.
People who diet, put on more weight. People who self care to produce more, will stress more.
It's counter intuitive to focus on self care as a way to be more productive
We are supposed to self care to get a rest from constant demands!
See how this insidious always-on culture tricks us?! (Diet culture does the same.)
The reason we need self care is because we expect so much productivity from ourselves... super mum's relating.
We are not machines after all!
But we’re taking care of our toy machines more than our bodies these days!
How much time do you spend caressing your smartphone? Money on its replacement? Accessories? The monthly upkeep? Other gadgets?
And how about on your body?
The one “machine” you actually cannot live without.
How much of your monthly income goes into looking after you?
Not because you need to be more productive but because you need a rest so you don’t have a flip out.
There is still a huge stigma around managing stress, coping with depression and fatigue.
Despite the stigma, over half of American’s suffer from stress.
But only a third seek professional help to actually manage the situation.
The fact is that stress is a major cause of weight gain and obesity.
This is often the reason some people are eating right, exercising a lot and still cannot lose the weight.
Which is why, again, the diet should come last.
Self care must come first.
So we don’t burn out, so we can be healthy, to actually manage cortisol and insulin levels so we don’t put on weight or become diabetic.
And if anyone tells you they’re on a diet because they love themselves get the lie detector out. Diets are a form of punishment.
Unless it’s a therapeutic diet of course, then they have no choice so it’s different.
The number one pill for stress and depression is self care.
Slow down and self care.
I did talk about self care as one of the strategies for How To Like Yourself [If You’re Fat] blog if you want to check that out, it applies to all body shapes, colours and sizes actually….
… and here’s what Forbes says about adopting Self Care practices:
Self care gives you a break from stress and anxiety
Self care improves your cognitive functions
Self care provides some alone time
Self care allows you to give more to others
What I would add to this great list is two things:
Self care sets you up with supportive healthy habits that last a lifetime and
It tells your subconscious you’re worthy.
Who doesn’t need more of that?
Honestly I do not know anyone who regretted adopting self care practices.
It can and should form part of your daily routine.
And if you are looking to get healthier, lose weight, cease binge eating or another disordered eating habit, deal with any addiction or recover from trauma, then this should be one of the starting points.
Self Care should be the go-to practice for healing.
It’s free and available everywhere you look.
You simply have to choose to do more of the things you enjoy and less of the things you don’t.
The other thing you can always do is get professional help of course because not all of us start off knowing how to self care and being able to break old hard to die habits on our own.
My eating psychology mentor Marc David was the guy who finally convinced me to make self care a priority when I was dealing with family trauma and I have never looked back.
The strategies I put in place then, have seen me through other life challenges minus the old coping habits that used to run me.
So I am totally speaking from experience.
I hope this has helped.
Thank you Forbes for making SELF CARE a business topic, even though you focused on productivity, at least it’s out there now and that is a great beginning.
For more blogs from Miriam Pires head to the website www.miriampires.com
If you are ready to get help from a professional check out the FREE Food & Body Assessment.