A PRACTITIONER AND AUTHOR’S VIEW OF SELF-CARE
Self-Care as collective process: Let’s do this together!
As a transformational wellness coach, a university professor, a licensed master social worker, and a metaphysical minister, I know that self-care is one of the most foundational and effective tools we have to guide our own lives, to function at our optimal levels, and to give our individual gifts to the world.
I advocate, teach, and coach for intentional living. Being intentional includes a prevention mindset. As such, I believe we need to turn the tables and live in wellness first. We have to fit our lives and our work into our self-care practice, rather than the other way around.
To practice self-care is to purposely engage in activities that help us to be well in any number of areas in our lives. We can practice self-care from our own rhythm. Self-care is personal and cultural, and each person’s self-care plan can change with time, location, and circumstances. Self-care is not just some nice, warm, cozy concept where we drink tea, attend an occasional yoga class, or check “get together with a friend” off our self-care to-do list.
Unfortunately, we tend to think about self-care from a distance, as something we are supposed to do, but we often fail to think it through or make any kind of plan for it. We have little context, structure, or accountability, because we don’t have a clear enough understanding of what self-care has the potential to be. In this amazing way, the International Self-Care Foundation and its partners are a beacon of light and education for those interested in understanding self-care more holistically and globally.
I believe that we are beholden to one another. We are in community and in relation with everyone on the planet, so someone else’s wellness or dis-ease directly affects our own wellness and vice versa. I don’t think we can truly be well if we are not supporting wellness for everyone. We need to do this together. This is about self-care for all, which will allow us to thrive, despite immersion in a sometimes dangerous and stressful world.
I embrace self-care as an act of justice, because self-care builds resilience and community, and has the potential to make impactful societal changes.
When we practice sustained and sustainable self-care, we fundamentally change our way of relating to ourselves and to one another, while bringing greater wellness to our communities and cultures, and ultimately making important changes in our health care systems, legislations, and regulations.
Let us say YES to move decidedly and mindfully in the direction of hope, resilience, stability, wellness, and love for ourselves and for others. This is self-care in its most sustainable way.
Through intentional and sustained self-care we are better able to find and give our unique talents, gifts, and contributions to the world, while simultaneously learning our life’s lessons. I also believe this is a cyclical process. As we give our best selves, we are mindful to learn our lessons, and in this space we are inherently practicing sustained self-care.
To achieve this, we must:
- define self-care for ourselves
- take the time to know why we do what we do and decide to place the highest value on our wellness through sustained practicing of self-care
- have a self-care plan that is written down, which we revisit as often as necessary
- reach out for support and offer support so that we can all succeed with our self-care plans
Take a minute to assess your own self-care: http://www.ellenrondina.com/self-care/
Ellen Rondina, LMSW, MMSc is the #1 best-selling author of SELF-CARE REVOLUTION: 5 Pillars to Prevent Burnout and Build Sustainable Resilience for Helping Professionals. Her book can be found here: http://www.ellenrondina.com/book/ and directly on Amazon. Find Ellen through her website www.ellenrondina.com and her Facebook community www.facebook.com/SustainableSELFCARE.