The concept of self-care has recently gained significant attention. However, there remains a prevalent myth that self-care is indulgent or selfish. This notion implies that prioritizing personal well-being is somehow excessive and self-centered. In reality, self-care promotes the overall health of individuals and communities. It’s time we debunk the myth that self-care is indulgent and recognize its true importance.
Let’s first start with a definition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.” Self-care interventions include everything from devices allowing for self-monitoring of blood glucose levels to nutrition counseling. Self-care can be anything leading to better physical, emotional, or mental health and well-being. Practicing self-care enables us to show up fully in our personal and professional lives.
Taking time to prioritize our health helps to reduce stress levels, combat burnout, and enhance resilience. When we neglect our self-care needs, we become more susceptible to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Engaging in self-care practices, such as physical activity and mindfulness, can significantly improve our mental well-being and overall quality of life.
Self-care is also important for building healthy relationships. You’ve probably heard the adage, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” When we take the time we need for ourselves, we become better equipped to help others. By tending to our needs, we show up as our best selves in our relationships, fostering stronger connections.
Self-care does not mean that our well-being comes at the expense of another. Instead, it creates a ripple effect. Individuals who practice self-care are more likely to engage in acts of kindness and contribute positively to their communities. Let’s embrace self-care and recognize its profound benefits for ourselves and those around us.
Kristi Edwards, co-founder and owner of 901 Nutrition LLC, is a licensed and registered dietitian in Memphis. She has several years of experience in both acute care and outpatient settings, and she is passionate about helping clients ditch dieting for good, through intuitive eating and the enjoyment of food. You can reach Kristi at 901.800.9526 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about 901 Nutrition or to subscribe to their free newsletter for monthly recipe books, visit 901nutrition.com. You can also follow 901 Nutrition on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
By Kristi Edwards, MS, RDN, LDN