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Kindle Your Own Fire

“Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation,” as Andre Lorde states. This mindset reflects the value self-care can have on improving your overall well-being. Self-care simply means taking time to do things which help you improve your physical and mental health. Self-care can aid in managing stress and lower risk of illness while increasing your energy levels.

I have learned over the years of nursing, we, as caregivers, are like a water bottle. We are constantly pouring our energy into our profession. We effortlessly give to our patients, their families, and co-workers, while still needing some energy left to fulfill our commitment to our families and friends. This often leaves very little left to tend to ourselves, if any at all. It is critical that we recognize how vital frequently re-filling that water bottle is to our overall well-being. Self-care is a great way to fill up, providing many proven benefits to our health, and will also spill over into our professional and personal relations.

One of my favorite self-care activities is yoga. Yoga can help to make you feel better from head to toe, as it offers a multitude of physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. Yoga improves your strength, balance, and flexibility. It can also help relieve discomfort from back pain and arthritis symptoms.

Yoga, if practiced regularly, also has been found to reduce levels of stress and inflammation within your body, which ultimately can contribute to a healthier heart. Finally, researchers have found a consistent routine of yoga prior to bed can help mold the right mindset and prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep. Thus, leading to a boost in enthusiasm and energy levels to conquer the next day.

Yoga brings much value to healthcare. It is a great tool for relaxation, centeredness, and destress, while supporting the healing process in enhancing your health. So, if you haven’t yet today, I suggest you pull that mat out and do your best “downward dog” as you move toward filling that bottle in taking better care of yourself so you can better take care of others.

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