The Art of Self Care
Christmas is nigh and for all of us it was not the year we expected it to be. Though thankfully, as we open up and are able to get out and about more, many of us are struggling with anxiety and fatigue and for some, after such a prolonged time at home, feeling a little fearful about getting back out into the world. Many of us who were in the Kinglake region after the Black Saturday bushfires know well the agoraphobia that can occur from feeling our homes were the only safe place to be. So as the festive season rolls around and we gather with friends and family who have also been battling with this new reality. We may worry how to handle our own and others heightened sensitivities. So it’s important to take some time for some real self-care.
It’s important that we as community member, family member, parent, worker/business owner etc, take time to remember who we are. It’s easy to get caught up in others problems and forgetting to check out our own needs, feelings and health. This can lead to ‘burn out’, chronic illnesses such as High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Headaches and fatigue, insomnia or even diabetes. These can be avoided and self-care is an important way to start, not to mention the fact you will simply feel so much better!
Ways in which to begin start with getting a health check. Restrictions on many medical services have resulted in many general health concerns being put off, and this can mean some significant health concerns being missed. Get your Blood pressure, and general health assessed by a health professional and take a look at your diet. I mean a real look….are you eating greens, salads, fresh fruit and veggies? Too much alcohol, sugar or fried foods? Make the changes you know you need to and ask advice where you have concerns. Please don’t ignore your body, if you feel something is not right than ask for help.
Also check your timetable. It’s simply vital to set aside a few hours each week, and an hour each day to do something you enjoy. Somethings you enjoy that is for YOU. Walk the dog, play with the kids, read a book or visit a friend, even just sit and look at a great view or your garden. Relax and appreciate your life and just be.
With our new found freedom try to find some physical exercise that gets your blood moving. Remember that exercise releases endorphins that lift the spirits. Get more sleep too, the last two years have really had the adrenals well depleted as adrenal exhaustion resulting from all the fear and anxiety can really run your immune system down and leave you more vulnerable physically and emotionally, so going to bed even half an hour earlier can have you feeling more rested. If you are having trouble sleeping there are many natural herbs that can help that are non-habit forming and can assist a deeper more regenerative sleep. Herbs such as chamomile, Melissa (Lemon balm), lavender, passion flower, ziziphis (suan zao ren) and natural homeopathic melatonin can help a lot. I have some wonderful blends from Mel’s Little Herbarium (locally made), she has some wonderful tinctures that can promote a good night’s sleep and reduce stress.
Finally treat yourself to a massage, shiatsu, acupuncture, beauty treatment, spa, hair cut; whatever as a treat to your body. We regularly service our cars and forget our life vehicle! We need a tune up too!
So take care of yourself , be gentle and kind to each other and have a wonderful Christmas and fun filled summer.
Until next time
Dr Angela Palmer