Self-Care is Health Care

It’s never too late to get well, be well and stay well

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” —Buddha

Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit. It is never selfish to refill your own cup, so that you can pour the essence of your soul-full self into others. This is definitely not a luxury. Self-care is essential to a life well-lived.

No doubt, self-care has become somewhat “buzzy” in the media as of late. It’s heartening to know that my longtime teachings have become on-trend! In every wellness session I teach or encounter where I’m sharing mind-body health practices, my mantra rings loud and clear, “Self-care is the ultimate health care."

In a time when great dissension surrounds our health-care choices in this country (and costs are spiraling in the health insurance industry, and by extension the pharmaceutical industry) devoted, self-care has become of great importance for optimizing our well-being. It can be an important preventive approach to maintaining balance, equilibrium and homeostasis, all while staving off disease and maintaining our mind-body health.

Self-care does not mean we avoid required visits to the physician. It is not a “medical fix.” However, taking a preventive approach to our health through self-care is a way of living. Compassionate care of self is an adjunct to allopathic medicine that, when followed, may allow us to scale back on the more deleterious effects of “modern” medicine’s protocols—because we’re now tapping into our own unique and innate healing capacity.

We each have the ability to discern and intuit what will make our hearts sing and balance our mind-body physiologies. We simply need to tune in. Every thought we engage, every attitude we embrace, every action we enact impacts our health profile. And we have a choice. Mindfulness is the holy grail in helping deliver us to focused, life-affirming discernment in our choice-making.

The Best Place to Start.

Consider yourself a sacred, non-negotiable priority. Put yourself back up to the top of your to-do list. Show up, regularly. Practice, consistently. And please remember this: life is not always shiny and full of Namaste. Your self-care practice doesn’t expect you to show up happy. It simply asks that you be present. It doesn’t mind if you’ve got it together, or if you’re a mess. You can arrive with a chaotic mind and a heavy heart. Your practice could care less if you can meditate for hours or touch your toes. It simply asks, that you show up. And remember, it’s never too late to get well, be well and stay well.

Be compassionate toward yourself. Learn to say “no” and create the necessary healthy boundaries that will allow you to keep thriving toward your own personal best. There may be days where self-care for those afflicted by any form of disability, illness or chronic disease may be as simple as getting enough sleep, putting on deodorant and remembering to brush your teeth. It may be getting fully dressed, taking a shower and eating an actual meal for once. We are all on our own self-care journey. So be gentle with yourself, and keep on showing up and keeping on.

Do what you can. Self-care should not be a burden or a check-off on some kind of aesthetic checklist. This is your life! It is about self-love, self-actualization, self-creation. Nurturing yourself into an existence you proudly love can involve the smallest act of loving-kindness toward yourself and others, or the largest undertaking of detoxifying the world. It can entail earthly experiences right alongside those that are entirely spiritual in nature. As you nurture your soul, you allow air, touch, food, water, rest, sights, sounds, aromas and movement to likewise nurture the physical layer of your existence. This is how we find, weave and radiate synergy and harmony between the layers of our being, and through our connection to the whole of life.

Meditate and be mindful. Since meditation is the key practice in becoming mindful, present, focused, thus devoted to your 24/7 self-care lifestyle, please visit the link here to experience mindfulness meditation: Try it for 20 days (as long as it takes to create a new habit)! After this experience, there will be no room for compromise on your devoted care of self.

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Mary Beth Janssen

Mary Beth Janssen

Author, Mind-Body Health Educator at Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Mary Beth Janssen is a certified health educator for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and author of seven books, including the latest, The Book Of Self Care: Remedies For Healing Mind, Body, And Soul. Send questions to
Mary Beth Janssen

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