Self Care - The Way To Maximize Your Life

Self care, caring for one self, is essential to a healthy, satisfying and productive life. Our care, interest and concern for our lives keeps us safe from harm as well as safeguard us from potential ills. This aspect of life is worthy of close scrutiny, for we all need to be vigilant and care, our own type of insurance policy in life. If we look closer we can see that self-care has hidden depths and to have greater knowledge of these depths helps us in our every day lives.

The self

How much more can we one write about the 'self'? Certainly of the topics available, self care is an important one and one that can be easily neglected. Yet it should be a topic close to our hearts. To get the most out of ourselves we must look after number one, we must be in the 'caring for self' mode. While some would say this is being selfish, is it not sensible to look out for one self, to look after one self, to ensure that we are OK? Can it really be selfish to give yourself the self care you need?

Looking after number one

Of course it makes perfect sense, but what does self care mean? What can we do? What is involved? Is it difficult? Can I do it? How do I do it? When? Where? How? Oh, so many questions.

Yet the answers are not so difficult. They are mostly a matter of common sense. There are many sensible and practical things we can do. For example, eating well, getting enough sleep, doing things in moderation (drinking), and generally looking after one self, and many other sensible ideas.

Here I will be focussing more on what we can do to look after ourselves as a whole. Give ourselves the self care that we need.

But why? What is all the fuss about self care?

So what happens if we don't look after ourselves? What are the repercussions? What can go wrong? Why should anything be amiss or go amiss?

Again, let us use our common sense. If we don't attend to ourselves, look after ourselves by which we mean the 'whole' of us - our mind/body/spirit/brain - in fact all that is us. If we don't give 'us' much time, attention, effort, then how can we expect to get the best out of ourselves in everyday life, let alone in pressure, stressful or important situations?

So how does this self care work?

Let us look at an example of a car. A car needs regular checks e.g. tyres (pressures and condition), oil, windscreen fluid - on a weekly (or so) basis. Yet on top of that there are the occasional breakdowns, depending on age and condition, as well as the service schedule itself.

Now let us look at us. Are we not a very sophisticated, complex, extraordinary machine (our body, brain), with the added extras of our mind, our will, our feelings, our 'heart', etc? Do we not need at have at least the same care and attention as our automobile, and tender loving care at that? Do we not all need self care?

We need good and fulfilling care, too

Without us getting 'true care' how can we function properly, let alone experience, feel, wonder, enjoy, and all the other things that we are capable of. Yes, some of this can be done at the Doctor's, Dentist, etc. Most of it needs to be done by ourselves, for ourselves. And especially the internal and important bits, our feelings, thoughts, our mind, and so on.

So what can we do for ourselves? How to care for ourselves? What do we do, how do we act, how do we look at life? How should we look at life? What can affect these things?

The view we have of ourselves . . .

How we view ourselves is oh so important. And this can encompass

  • our personal sense of worth and image
  • our talents, and using them to best advantage
  • our levels of esteem and confidence
  • the respect we have for ourselves
  • our levels of motivation and achievement
  • our personality and our behavior
  • our self development and growth
  • our self discipline - is it in tune with our life?
  • our control over our actions and behavior - do they maintain our values and standards?
  • of what we give back to life - is it at least as much as we take?
  • not just thinking about ourselves but our friends and family, and our acquaintances
  • the respect that we have for ourselves and our contribution to life
  • the respect we have for others - is it to our own high standards - would we be happy to be treated that way?
  • not giving ourselves the self care we need or deserve

This view must support our life. We need a strong balance in our life and be willing to put the time and effort in to achieve that.

So what should we be doing?

We can do many things to care for ourselves. The following gives just a small taste of what we could do or could be doing. We should

  • cherish our life and look after it (we only have the one, let us make the most of it)
  • not be overly cautious in life, yet neither live on the limit (enjoy life, push the boat out, yet keep reason and thought applied to our endeavors)
  • be both diligent and enthusiastic about our life and our role in life (tackle life head on, want to enjoy it, put the effort in and the chances are we'll really have some fun)
  • treat life and others with respect (and we will get our just reward)
  • foster friends and companions (for what we can do for them, and be grateful and appreciative for what they can do for us)
  • manage our life (don't be regimented, necessarily; be flexible, friendly, approachable, the sort of person people like to be around, but also thorough, dependable, be an achiever as well as a thinker, be a giver as well as a taker)
  • go for it life (what have we got to lose, and what have we got to gain; we should temper our energy with care and compassion for all things)
  • nurture our self, our life, our plans, our efforts, us (make the most of us and our talents)
  • enjoy solitude, peace and silence (use them to recuperate, to refresh, to recharge our batteries, as well as to experience the true inner joys of life)
  • be thoughtful, be wise, be (use our God given talents, share our knowledge and experience with others)

. . . and on a lighter note

Self care must come natural. We gain nothing by 'flogging' ourselves over caring for or about ourselves. As we also gain little by other similar actions. So on a lighter but still important note, to give ourselves the self care we need, we should

  • take things easy when we can - we don't have to live at 100% all the time
  • avoid being too hard on ourselves or others
  • not expect to be a miracle worker all the time
  • ensure we get time for our self, each and every day
  • discover new things about our self each day
  • renew our 'contract' with life each day - just be thankful and grateful for our life and the position we have within it
  • help others whenever we can (the 'others' could be us - any day now)
  • be careful, and not careless, about your life or with our life

There is so much we can be doing to care for ourselves, and the above are only examples. We need to find our own way, our own 'regime', and our own self care facility. To ensure that the job of caring for ourselves is done and done properly, and done regularly, and done fully - with care, love and thought and applied attention.

And what of our life?

We sometimes need a reminder. To remember that life has given us such a gift. In a way we have the guardianship of our life. Yet it leaves us to get on with it.

Life trusts us with itself, to do with it as we will. Are we taking full advantage of our gift? And, when I say advantage, are we using all of our talents and skills, character and integrity, supported by tested values and principles. Are we using all that we are, all that we have been given, all of our potential in good and true causes?

Only we can answer those types of questions. What another person thinks matters little, compared with our own opinion and efforts. Are we really in there with life, using it, living it to the full? Getting the most out of life, and also giving our fair proportion back?

Making the most of things

And not squandering our time and efforts away. For no good reason or with no good excuse for not doing so. Yes, we can let our hair down, but not all the time. There is a time for levity, relaxation, fun and games. But life can give us those extra special moments, too. Moments of sheer magic and wonder that show us how important life is for us.

Look after the totality of you, so that you can sit down at night proud and happy, content and satisfied that you have worked well, lived well that day. And not just for yourself, but that you have worked for the greater good, too. And also happy that you have given yourself the appropriate self care, too.

We should all strive for that balance in life. This comes from doing all the things we can to take care of ourselves. Being proud of ourselves and giving ourselves that level of attention. We all know it makes sense. 'All' we have to do is do it.

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