Friday, September 4, 2015

How does self-care look?

Self-care looks quite different today from what it did a decade or several decades ago. From my point of view, that's a good thing. I often think about what my mother's life looked like, for example, or my grandmother's life. They were so focused on taking care of everyone around them that they seldom gave thought or time to their own needs. That's just how it was in those days. I began my married life with that model, but I've been blessed to live in times that see self-care as important. So I've made changes in my lifestyle.

And I look at my three daughters-in-law—and, although their lives are crazy-busy trying to balance careers with families, I also see that they fit in time for exercise, healthy eating, some spa time for things such as massages and pedicures, girlfriend time and more. Good for them!

That self-care means our medical care looks different these days, too. A National Institutes of Health survey from 2012 (NIH does these surveys every five years) shows that in 2012, 34 percent of adults used complementary health approaches, with most of that number integrating that with conventional health care. Complementary approaches can include such things as dietary supplements, deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, etc. I do that myself—integrating conventional care with complementary approaches.

The wonderful thing is that you get to choose what your self-care looks like. What's best for you? For your body, mind and spirit? For your lifestyle? It's your choice.

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