Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taking Care of Ourselves

Do you take care of yourself the way you take care of others?  It wasn't until  university when I started learning the concepts of self-esteem and self-image.  It was in my course work that I learned the importance of self-care.  There is a fine balance between being selfish or egotistical, and being able to take care of one's self in a healthy way. 

Paying attention to your diet, exercising, avoiding addictive behaviours and spending pleasurable time with others is a recipe for a healthy sense of self.  We get all kinds of messages from the media about what a healthy diet is and the main thing I want to say here, is "everything in moderation".  I have a book called, "Healthy Pleasures" by Robert Ornstein and David Sobel (1989), and the authors state there are things we can do for pleasure that are healthy.  "The key is the Pleasure Principle.  Nature's way of alerting us that what we enjoy is likely to be good for us." Feel good activities like a hug, watching your favourite sports team play well, or a touching movie or video clip can have a positive effect on our ability to ward of disease.  The authors state that "healthy" pleasures can help us to be healthier in the long run.

Taking care of ourselves also means taking care of others.  Helping others, taking care of our environment or joining a worthy cause makes us feel responsible, and helps us live a life of purpose.  What good is a life with no purpose?  Our lives are actually lengthened by engaging in philanthropy (active effort to promote human welfare).  What do you do to help others feel good?

Take care of yourself as best you can.  You are the owner and operator of a magnificient miracle - you.  You are awesome!

Have a great day!

~ Angela Gentile

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