Self-Care from Head to Toe
Now more than ever we need to implement self-care into our daily lives.
Living through a pandemic and the unsteadiness of our country, has led many to suffer mental-health related issues.
Today our healthcare workers and first-responders are experiencing what is known as compassion fatigue more than ever where they give so much care and empathy for others that they deplete themselves. They seem to find themselves so overwhelmed with the help that is needed in the world today that they cannot seem to find the time for some well-deserved self-care.
In the midst of the current world's crises, I believe compassion fatigue is also emerging among the general population.
The American Institute of Stress defines compassion fatigue as, "The emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. It differs from burn-out, but can co-exist. Compassion Fatigue can occur due to exposure on one case or can be due to a 'cumulative' level of trauma."
With that being said, I bet there is at least one person that you are a main support system for that has been traumatized, stressed, overly concerned, or has a chronic condition, et cetera. Perhaps you're a caregiver yourself. I, myself, as a yoga teacher can easily fall into compassion fatigue as well, and I'm also a main support system for my dad who has pancreatic cancer. So I know how easy it is to give of yourself until your cup is empty.
So implementing self-care is a lot of work. It does not mean going to get your nails done or treating yourself once in a while. Self-care should be a part of your daily routine. And it's kind of crazy to think about this, but there are a lot of professional healthcare providers who provide self-care that do not even know how to start a self-care plan for themselves and stick to it. Self-care is not easy. Self-care requires digging deep into your deep-seated issues and trying to resolve them one step at a time with the tools that you have available to you.
As a yoga teacher, this is what I have been trained to do. Firstly, self-care includes taking care of your physical body. Your body is your vessel. It carries you through each and every day. If your physical body can't support you, you will lack the ability to properly maintain your whole Self. Secondly, self-care includes your emotional well-being. Think of it as spring cleaning your mind. Getting rid of distractions, unwanted thoughts, past or future, and focusing on the present moment. Thirdly, I believe what glues together your self-care practice is having a spiritual practice. A spiritual practice doesn't have to be a religious one. It can be whatever you want it to be. Creating a practice of feeling that oneness, with loving your Higher Self or God or the Universe, it does not matter.
Finally, consider finding a time slot in your schedule every day for some exercise, yoga, meditation, praying, journaling, et cetera. And if you are still struggling, consider talking to someone about it like a counselor or health coach who can help guide you through. Most importantly, make time for your Self because you matter inside out and head to toe.