There’s a new term being used in mental health care circles: self-care. It means doing all the things human beings used to do naturally to be healthy: get enough sleep, eat right, exercise.
Whenever the medical profession comes up with a term to describe what should be a given, you know we’ve gone off the rails as a society.
There are multiple elements to self-care: physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and social. Self-care is really about “communicating with your soul and saying, Hey, what do you need right now?” I’m just going to focus on physical self-care in today’s post.
The statistics are shocking. One in three Canadians are not getting enough sleep. 6.2% of Canadians don’t eat breakfast and only one third of us pack a lunch for work. Almost a quarter of Canadians don’t eat fruit or vegetables on a daily basis. Four in ten Canadians get less than 30 minutes of physical exercise each day. And let’s not even talk about screen and cell phone use.
Let’s face it. If we were our own mothers, we’d be yelling at ourselves every minute of the day to take better care of ourselves!
What’s brought us to this sad state of affairs? All the obvious answers, when combined together make up a lethal Molotov cocktail of bad health factors: sedentary office-based work, too much screen time, fast food and processed food, driving everywhere, increased stress factors…the list goes on and on.
We have become our own worst enemy. And we need an intervention.
I’ve been particularly bad the past few weeks, eating poorly and compounding my poor health by not taking time to rest when I had a nasty cold. So I’m taking a self-care pledge. I pledge to:
- Pack a lunch each day
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour and within the same hour range (eg. between 10 and 11 every night)
- Walk every day
- Get up and move every hour
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
Who’s with me and what will be on your list? Leave a comment.