Its nothing new. Its been around since time began. Self care is doing what you need to do to survive and be well.
When you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, its pretty clear to see. His paper, ” A theory of Human Motivation- 1943 “ is based on a five tier model. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation.
When I talk of self care, I base the areas of practice around five similar tiers. Body, Mind, Spirit, People and Place.
My focus for this piece of writing is the Body – the basic of the self care package. The lowest tier of Maslow’s hierarchy. Yet perhaps the most significant and important of them all.
Basic self care of getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising are central to our wellbeing. I only know on reflection if I’ve skipped the gym, not eaten regularly or had disrupted sleep, that my mood slips and I can be the biggest bleep walking.
The body is the main plate that needs to continue to spin. Regardless of everything else, if this doesn’t work then you are… ( insert your own description )! When you become poorly, the main aim is to get back to a good level psychical wellness asap. When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, sleep. You get the idea. Keeping the engine running in its best, tip-top condition is essential for everything else in terms of self care.
Looking after the body, is the one act of self care that is done really without much thought or precision, except I guess if you are in training for something like a marathon/ ironman etc. Yet its the first thing that people abuse.
Staying up late to just watch the next episode of your favourite series on Netflix. Skipping the run you had planned for the next day, or avoiding going to the gym. Eating yet another cake adorning the staff room table for Ann’s birthday. Pouring that extra glass of wine when you’ve had one two many already. We are very quick to abuse our bodies…some people have struggles in looking after their bodies through addictions and struggle when their body says enough.
See self care can seem rather twee and and a bit of a buzzword/phase that we go through as a society. But it isn’t. Self-care starts at the basics. The pure essence of survival for human beings. That’s not “airy fairy , new age hippy stuff “- as my Popsy would say, its called being in control of the very one thing you can control- your body. Self care for the body is the foundation of self care- the bedrock. The very oxygen in our air. So show it some respect, get the basics right and rest can grow from there. Don’t forget to keep that one plate spinning.