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Be Well With Dori: Self-Care — Embracing the importance beyond ‘selfishness’

In a world that glorifies productivity and selflessness, it’s easy to overlook the significance of self-care.

Many of us may associate self-care with selfishness, yet in reality, it’s a vital practice that allows us to meet our own needs and, in turn, be more available for our loved ones and the wider community.

In this column, we’ll explore why self-care is not selfish and how prioritizing our well-being enables us to create bigger opportunities for ourselves and those around us.

1. Human nature and self-care

As humans, we are inherently wired to care for others and fulfill our responsibilities. However, we often forget that we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Neglecting our own needs eventually leads to burnout, exhaustion, and diminished mental and physical health.

Self-care is not a luxury but a necessity to replenish and rejuvenate ourselves, enabling us to show up fully in our roles as parents, friends, and community members.

2. The ripple effect of self-care

When we prioritize self-care, we create a positive ripple effect that extends beyond ourselves. By taking time to re-charge and nurture our well-being, we enhance our ability to be present, patient, and compassionate toward others.

When we are well-rested, mentally refreshed, and emotionally balanced, we are better equipped to support our family, friends, and community members in their own struggles.

3. Improved physical and mental health

Practicing self-care has numerous benefits for our physical and mental health. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies, helps reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.

Taking care of our physical health through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep enhances our energy levels and boosts productivity, enabling us to contribute more effectively to our families and communities.

4. Setting a positive example

When we embrace self-care, we become role models for those around us, especially our children. By demonstrating the importance of self-care, we empower them to prioritize their own well-being and understand that self-care is not selfish but an integral part of a balanced and fulfilling life.

Teaching our loved ones the value of self-care creates a positive cycle of well-being that extends beyond ourselves and on to future generations.

5. Expanding opportunities for contribution

Self-care not only provides us with the energy and mental clarity to fulfill our existing responsibilities, but it also opens doors to new opportunities for personal and community growth.

When we take care of ourselves, we develop the confidence and resilience to explore new avenues, pursue passions, and contribute to causes that align with our values. By investing in our own well-being, we create a stronger foundation from which we can make a positive impact on the world around us.

Self-care is far from selfish; it is a powerful practice that enables us to be the best versions of ourselves for our family, friends, and community. Prioritizing self-care is not only essential for our physical and mental health but also sets a positive example for others and expands our capacity to contribute to the world around us.

So, let go of any guilt associated with self-care and embrace it as an opportunity to nourish yourself, creating bigger opportunities to make a lasting difference in the lives of those you care about and the wider community.

Among several specialties in the field of health, Dori Fortunato is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with western and eastern herbal studies.