Why do Women need to focus on Self-Care

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We are often reminded to help others, to take good care of our families, and strive to do well in our jobs. These are actually good advice. Unfortunately, we sometimes try to do all those things and forget to take care of ourselves, treating this as the least of our priorities.

The thing is, it’s hard to give something away when you don’t have it in the first place. As inspirational writer, Eleanor Brownn, explains, “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. YOU CANNOT SERVE FROM AN EMPTY VESSEL.”

Yes, we are expected to take on our responsibilities seriously. But we must not buy into the misconception that a good woman MUST sacrifice herself to serve our loved ones before we serve ourselves.

What many women have yet to realize is that, “It’s possible to have equal concerns for yourself and for your loved ones. These aren’t always conflicting priorities.” (Ethel S. Person, MD, author of Feeling Strong: The Achievement of Authentic Power). Remember, there is no strict rule in life that only one person can do one specific task at any one time.

According to psychology experts, although more people are now aware about how important self-care is, a lot of individuals don’t do it enough because they don’t know how! “There’s a perception that there’s a right way to do self-care [and] a lot of people put self-care in their routine as a forced thing. Then they feel tired out from it, and forget the fun stuff,” an article in PsychCentral points out.

What we all need to understand is that self-care IS the fun stuff. It is letting yourself do whatever you want to do that makes you happy. In addition, listen to your mind and body when they tell you they need a break. Being overwhelmed with responsibilities will not make you very productive anyway and you’ll end up being more frustrated.  So take time to do something that will relax you!

Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Close your eyes for 60 seconds and think of a funny conversation you recently had with someone you love
  • Stand up from your workstation and take a few minutes walk.
  • Have a long and leisurely bath.
  • Watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see.
  • Have a well-deserved massage. Nurture Wellness Village offers various packages that were created to rejuvenate one’s mind and body.
  • Schedule longer breaks like an overnight hotel stay or a three-day trip to the beach.

 

Remember, don’t push the thought of getting some “me-time” aside else you’ll completely forget about it. After a good break, you’ll find yourself more energetic and more than ready to take on the many tasks waiting for you at home and in the office.

Starting today, make sure to enjoy the benefits of self-care and keep in mind this advice by popular tennis coach, Carl Bryan: “Taking good care of YOU, means the people in your life will receive the BEST, rather than WHAT’s LEFT, of you.”

 

The Many Benefits of a Good Massage

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Massage is a general term for the rubbing and kneading of skin, muscles, and joints using hands and fingers. It may range from light stroking to deep pressure. Although there are different types of massage, a growing number of studies acknowledge the many benefits of a good one:

 

  1. Massage is generally effective in reducing muscle tension, stress, and aches. It complements treatments for various medical conditions such as management of low back pain, relief from tension headaches, and decreased pain for those suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic neck pain, and more.
  1. Massage can help speed recovery after exercise and increase range of motion. Studies have shown that sports massage can be applied to all individuals participating in athletic or exercise programs to help improve conditioning and maintain peak performance. In fact, a lot of professional and college athletic programs hire massage therapists for multiple reasons.
  1. Massage improves balance in older adults, reduces blood pressure, tempers effects of dementia, and improves quality of life in hospice care, among others. By incorporating massage into their regular healthcare regimen, the elderly may find additional relief from the discomforts of various health issues associated with growing older.
  1. Massage can alleviate sleep disorders in infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly; and improves sleep in caretakers of hospitalized individuals. Getting quality sleep is essential to a person’s health and wellness as lack of adequate sleep has been associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease. Likewise, insufficient sleep has been known to cause injuries and disabilities from motor vehicle and machine-related accidents.
  1. Massage helps decrease anxiety and boosts the mood of people suffering from depression disorders. By alleviating symptoms of these conditions, massage can indirectly improve the quality of life and health of affected individuals.

 

Some important things to remember:

 

  • If your muscles are not used to being manipulated, they may respond with inflammation and discomfort. Still, soreness following a massage should not last for more than a day or two.
  • In general, a massage should not feel very painful or too uncomfortable. Tell the massage therapist right away if something doesn’t feel right as problems may crop up after a session from too much pressure. If you feel significant pain in a joint or muscle days after a massage, consult a doctor to rule out any serious injury.
  • Despite the benefits, do not treat massage as a replacement for medical care. Continue to follow treatment plans, if any, that has been prescribed by your doctor.

 

References:

American Massage Therapy Association

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine

Livestrong.com