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Focussing on self-care is not about being self-indulgent or selfish

Today, 24 July is International Self-Care Day. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can work, care for others and live a vibrant life feeling happy, healthy and well. It’s a broad concept encompassing hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental, social and economic factors.

Importantly it’s about caring for yourself without necessarily needing the support of your GP, which in today’s climate of long NHS waiting lists, underfunding of mental health and care services and an aging population, seems to be no bad thing. Now seems like the ideal time to shine a spotlight on yourself, your health needs and what you can do to look after yourself. Self-care is not about being self-indulgent or being selfish, it’s an important part of ensuring that you’re being your true, authentic, happy and healthy self.

Tuning in to your body

A quick search on the internet provides no end of self-care frameworks, ideas and tips, but for me it’s about taking the time to be quiet, tune in, listen to and understand your body. What does your body need to make you feel good on a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual level? We are all so different, so what will work for one person won’t necessarily work for another.

“Try meditating”, the headlines say, but for me, I just can’t seem to do it – but a long walk connecting with nature works as my meditation. “Try an invigorating cold shower first thing in the morning” they say. But for me, never in a month of Sundays. A long hot soak in a candle-lit bubble bath is more ‘me’. We can all find what works for us.

Use of complementary therapies in the UK

Research shows an upward trend of people using complementary therapies in the UK - massage, acupuncture, homeopathy etc, to support their wellbeing. They tend to be holistic in nature - treating the whole person.

Of course, complementary therapies, as the name suggests, should be used alongside any existing treatment you are receiving from a GP or healthcare provider – and should not replace it. And they should be used in tandem with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Here in my reiki practice. I’m seeing more and more people come and try a reiki treatment not necessarily for a physical ailment, but because they’re just feeling a bit un-well or out of sorts. Quite often clients can’t quite put their finger on why they’re feeling the way they do.

Helping to reduce emotional distress

But it doesn’t matter. A reiki treatment is particularly good in helping to reduce emotional distress, particularly useful where a client would find a talking therapy difficult. A reiki treatment quickly induces relaxation and calmness, boosting your natural healing abilities and helping to restore and rebalance your energy flow which can become blocked, low or stagnant due to a variety of reasons, including stress, poor diet, trapped negative emotions etc.

It works well on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level with clients feeling more energised with a renewed sense of wellbing.

So this International Self-Care Day, take the time to look after and care for you - be quiet, tune in and listen to your body and look after yourself in a way that truly suits you.

Stay healthy and well and have a great day.

Vicky x


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