No time to read? Driving to Work? No Problem, you can now listen from “Arya” our new AI assistant.
Self-care is an essential component to healthy living, as we all strive to improve our self-image, feel emotionally better, physically stronger, and overall feel better about ourselves. However, what many of us do not understand is that self-care need not be restricted to one’s own self. It can encompass one’s family, friends, colleagues, or even pets. When taking care of oneself, it is important to remember that our health needs our input too.
In health care, self care is any voluntary human regulatory activity that is undertaken under conscious and voluntary self-initiative. Examples of self-care include exercising, dieting, sleeping well, and maintaining a good social network. Unfortunately, many of these definitions are vague and not easily definable. In reality, self-care is a never-ending process. It only differs from person to person, so there is no definitive set of definitions for self-care. Nonetheless, there are some broad guidelines:
In order for self-care to be effective, the individual must take care of themselves in the midst of their busy lives. In essence, the individual must take care of themselves before they take care of others. For instance, if a person is ill, they must take care of themselves before they can take care of others. Likewise, if an individual is not happy with their physical appearance, they must take care of themselves first before they attempt to fix a friend, colleague, or pet. These guidelines serve only to remind us that we must take care of ourselves before we can help others.
In addition, self-care includes making appropriate decisions and taking steps to protect oneself and others. For instance, a parent must make appropriate decisions when their child is suffering from a harmful disease, or else the child could be subjected to unwanted and tragic behavior. Similarly, a teacher must make appropriate decisions regarding her or his students, and the same holds true for a CEO, police chief, surgeon, and other public figures. As humans, we are always at risk of facing risks and adversity. Whether these risks are small or large, they must be taken.
Finally, self-care includes making positive choices and taking steps to reduce one’s vulnerability to illness or injury. For instance, a UK department of health and welfare statistics report states that one out of five adults in the United Kingdom are affected by long term illness. One out of fifty people are likely to develop serious health problems within the next decade. Therefore, every adult in the United Kingdom needs to take appropriate steps to protect them against potential illness and injury. This can include investing in personal protective equipment, obtaining basic immunization, following safe driving rules and practicing healthy eating habits.
Practicing self care does not mean taking care of oneself only. It also means taking care of ones’ surroundings and surrounding oneself. It also means being aware of one’s emotional and physical state at all times and proactively trying to improve one’s health conditions. It also means developing and implementing healthy relationships and getting involved with communities where care and support are needed the most. These are just some of the important areas of general health that practicing self care can improve.
My name is Kim Jung-hoon and I am a medical student studying at the Yonsei University Faculty of Medicine in South Korea with the ultimate goal in specialization for Molecular Biology and Genetics.