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By Maria Burke, RN, Owner, Celtic Angels Home Health Care

It seems like this time of year and season we tend to spend most of our waking hours on other people, and not enough time taking care of ourselves. Whether it’s Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, baking, decorating, attending holiday gatherings, or running here, there and everywhere to visit family and friends, we don’t set aside enough time to rest and feed our bodies and our souls.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is making the time for you and only you. For some, it’s to sit quietly, and just rest. For others it may mean taking a bath, going for a walk, listening to soothing music—whatever it is that can help you find your center and become rejuvenated. Your mind, body, and spirit long for peace and stability. Making a commitment to find the time to engage in some sort of self-care practice is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Here are some suggestions I’d like to offer:

  • Make sleep part of your self-care routine.
  • Take care of your gut by trying to eat healthy, non-processed foods and meals at least 3 times a week.
  • Exercise daily even if it’s just a quick walk around the block or standing up from your desk to do 50 steps in place.
  • Say “No” to others, and say “Yes” to yourself! This one is a hard one, especially for women, who are wives and mothers.
  • Take a self-care trip, even if it’s just a day’s drive to some place local that you love.
  • Sit and read a book on self-care.

It can be hard for any of us to find extra time, particularly during the holiday season. But it’s extremely important to schedule some self-care time, not just for mental health, but for your physical health as well. Even if you simply take a few moments every day to sit quietly and take in five to 10 slow and steady breaths, it can help generate creativity in your brain and lead to new ideas that allow you to make healthy changes in your life.

Remember, too, that staying connected to people around you that feed your soul is critical. Conversely, try to limit your time and exposure to people who are ‘toxic’ to you and the people around you. They most likely don’t realize it, but they can have a severely negative affect on your mood and ultimately your health and wellness.

I always loved the teachings of this great woman— As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. Maya Angelou

About the Author: Maria Burke, RN, Owner, Celtic Angels Home Health Care, was born in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. She is the eldest of six and immigrated to the United States in 1988 to pursue a nursing degree to become a registered nurse. She served as a visiting nurse and from there, launched her own home health care company. Celtic Angels has two offices; Weymouth and Needham and services hundreds of elderly people across Massachusetts with a variety of services including skilled nursing, homemaking ser- vices and home health aide and CNA care services. ∞

Reprinted from the January 2020 edition of the South Shore Senior News