Self care simply means looking after your own health by getting involved in activities that maintain or improve your health. These activities can be done by the person himself or the people close to him or her. It can also be the obligation of the community at large. All these efforts are geared towards the improvement of health, disease management and prevention (Guidetti, Asaba and Tham, 2007). The benefits which a person experiences due to self care are many. This is especially seen in people who have undergone stressful moments and other health related problems.
Therefore, it is an important approach that helps in stress reduction in cases whereby by an individual has burnout due to the same. It has been established that many people usually fail to employ self care in the management of stress. The reasons might be due to the fact that the day to day activities in every person’s life present various challenges that might make a person to forget about self care. It should be noted that, just like any other priorities that a person might have in life, self care should be part of them (Guidetti, Asaba & Tham, 2007).
According to Guidetti, Asaba and Tham (2007), self care enables an individual to grow internally and externally. This in essence means that the individual will be able to live a stress free life. This can be attributed to the fact that self care leads to relaxation of the person. This response is important since it reduces the impacts of stress that a person is subjected to. It is a known fact that stress (especially chronic cases) has detrimental effects in the health of a person. Therefore, self care generally improves the health of a person and should be prioritized.
It leads to an emotionally healthy person since the person will be able to appreciate his or her own life. It also moulds responsible persons who not only care about themselves, but also others. This is true since self care gets rid of resentment that a person might hold in his or her heart. Such a person will therefore be at ease with other people rather than be confined to being self centered. Self care should not just be practiced at the onset of stressful periods but as a measure to prevent or reduce the impacts of challenges related to stress.
When this is done on time, a person would not be greatly affected by stress. Stress is normal in life hence everyone needs to find a way to reduce it to a minimum level. The only way to do this is to view self care as a proactive way to diminish the burnout effects of stress and practice it as a daily routine (Guidetti, Asaba and Tham, 2007). How can a person practice self care? This might be the big question which needs to be answered in the simplest way possible. According to Dorsey and Murdaugh (2003), it requires a little effort to do this.
Many people might think that they need to set aside a lot of their time and leave other important duties that they may be involved in. Proactive self care does encompass several things. Every counselor needs to take their time to stress these points during their professional work and come up with the best approach on this issue. The approaches to self care include: nutrition, exercise, hygiene, self medication and getting rid of bad habits. The need for proper diet should be emphasized since the body needs all the vital nutrients in order to function well.
Some diseases, for example Kwashiorkor in children, are due to poor diets. Exercise is important since the body will be able to work properly. It improves the persons’ physical health and strengthens the brain too. Every individual needs to practice good personal hygiene. This includes taking of bath and good grooming. Some ailments such as cholera are due to poor personal hygiene (Dorsey and Murdaugh, 2003). The other important aspect is self medication. This is important but should be practiced carefully.
The serious cases that might require the attention of a doctor should be referred to a qualified doctor. Lastly, bad habits such as smoking and consumption of alcohol need to be stopped. It has been established that these are the major causes of diseases such as liver cirrhosis and lung cancer. Although it would be very hard to immediately stop these habits spontaneously due to addiction, it can still be done in a gradual manner. Other ways to practice self care are; problem sharing with others, having sometime alone (to meditate) and good planning to avoid stress (Dorsey and Murdaugh, 2003).