Welcome to this issue of our first quarter's Health and Wellness forum. This quarter we will focus on self-care, its definition, and how self-care plays an important role in our lives.I noticed many people on the social media spectrum and through conversations speak about self-care, their definition, and their beliefs. I’ve searched through my experience of providing Occupational Therapy to my patients who suffer from various illness and health conditions and find that as a Program Director, observing the behaviors of my team and other disciplines that provide care for others to determine my perception of “Self-Care”. The closest I came was Wikipedia’s definition; Self-care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development....Wikipedia
I will take it a little further and introduce Gary Kielhofner who developed the theory of The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) which in summary says, “Human Occupation is defined as the doing of work (paid and unpaid) play or activities of daily living within a temporal, physical, and sociocultural context that characterizes much of human life”. He emphasizes the importance of an occupation focused, client-centered, holistic and evidence based approach in enabling people to engage in occupations that provide meaning and satisfaction that support their physical and emotional well-being. This sounds like a mouthful however; when you dissect all of this it comes down to balance.
We provide self-care on a daily basis from rolling out of bed every morning, bathing, dressing and grooming ourselves to start the day in whatever role we play in society, mother, employee, employer, caregiver, etc. However, these are just roles and responsibilities. We have to care for ourselves emotionally and physically (this is the part of self-care we can control) “MOHO”, Where I like to refer back to the holistic approach which we need in order to achieve balance.It is beneficial! Proper self-care is a balance of nutrition, meditation, prayer, exercise, and play in order to create a healthy balance of self-care which becomes our life style. For example, someone getting up every day, eating unhealthy foods, rushing to work, performing their job with no break, going home and continuing to perform household duties and before you know it, it's time to go to bed and start all over again. Does this sound familiar?If balance isn’t achieved it could lead to illness, physical, mental and emotional instability and not being able to perform your basic self-care needs.Achieving holism and balance for proper “Self-Care” will allow one to care for others.
Self-Care is not: being selfish- It’s about looking after yourself so you can give your best and provide value to the world by living your purpose and sharing your gifts - adapted from“What Is Self-care”- (Family and Community Service NSW)