Self Care Is Not a Luxury

Self-care is and always has been important. However presently, with the threat of a nasty virus everywhere and the continuous fear and stress producing media reports, it is essential.  My intention with this short article is to impress upon you how vital it is for your health and well-being that you take responsibility for self-care.  I also hope to prompt you into being more pro-active and taking control of this part of your daily living. The quality of your life depends on it. There will always be something out there to “get us.” There’s simply no end to the number of viruses, bugs, ailments, and breakdowns that are just waiting and ready to pounce on an unhealthy system. We really are only as healthy as our immune system, and that is directly dependent on our self-care routine. Although “self-care” is a vast topic, I want to emphasize the systems that directly affect how you and your body feels. These have been coined “the feel good” hormones.  Medical science already has a memorable acronym for these feel good hormones: DOSE

  • D is for dopamine, 
  • O is for oxytocin, 
  • S is for serotonin, and
  • E for endorphins. 

 So how do you get your daily DOSE? Quite simply it’s anything that makes you feel good  with no adverse side effects.  

  1. Breath is a good place to start.  Inhaling deeply into your belly to the count of 5, then exhaling deeply and fully for a count of 5 to 7, then repeat 10 times. Try it by laying or sitting comfortably, close your eyes to help you settle your awareness in your body… then breathe.
  1. Meditation is another way to get your DOSE at the start or end of your day. Just being still and quiet for a while and letting your mind rest is a wonderful way to allow these hormones to permeate your system. You can also combine 1 and 2 and do them together for a more powerful, longer lasting DOSE.  
  1. Exercise of any form, whether it be walking, running, yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi, cycling, etc. Any activity that brings movement and freedom to our bodies will stimulate the rise of DOSE
  1. Massage!  Unfortunately since it entails social closeness, the State of California has temporarily limited one of the very best ways to get your DOSE – massage!  Soon to return (hopefully) sometime this month.  The number studies are simply endless that demonstrate the science of enhanced health, heightened awareness, and increased DOSE during and after a massage.

 There is so much toxic fear and anxiety being spread these days that it’s really difficult to know what’s more dangerous, the virus or the fear and stress of the virus!  Today, it has never been more important to focus on what we do want rather than on what we don’t want. We have the power to influence change and it starts with how we take care of ourselves every day and then spreading that good energy out to everyone and everything that we wish to affect in a positive way.  It may take some practice, but like my teacher used to say, “when the going gets tough, you get what you practice”. Self-care is not a luxury; it is indeed essential to the health of your body, mind and soul.

Peace & wellness,