In the world of wellness there can be so many terms that sound alike and have the same or similar meanings. Self-care and self-keeping are two such words. While what ultimately matters is the language and framework that helps you live your best life, we wanted to share our personal relationship to these words to provide some nuance and hopefully a little clarity.
We understand self-care to be a recognition that you need and deserve to pay attention to your well being in an acute and perhaps urgent manner. This can express itself in so many ways. It can be treating yourself to a nice dinner with that special someone, making time for a long soaking bath, or planning a weekend getaway to clear the mind and settle the spirit.
Sometimes self-care can be thought of as pampering and having a luxurious and perhaps out of reach vibe. But self-care can also mean hitting the easy button for dinner (think pizza...delivered), taking a minute for three deep breaths before a meeting, or choosing the long way home for a few extra minutes of "me time".
An acquaintance recently shared a self-care story. They frequently go on business trips that involve all day meetings and then group dinners (aka...business meetings with food). On particularly challenging days, they make a point go to their room before dinner where they turn out the lights, pull the curtains, and curl up in a ball under the covers for 20 minutes.
Know that this person loves their job. They simply recognize that an intense day (and evening) of analysis and decision making requires time to recharge and have found an effective way to accomplish that. Some may think of this as weakness, and they would be wrong. This is self-awareness, insight, and strength that makes this individual a highly successful and sought after professional.
We see self-keeping as day to day maintenance that helps you pace yourself over the long-term. This can be finding an exercise routine and maintaining it, committing to certain healthy diet choices, a good sleep routine, keeping a doctors appointment, or maintaining a medication regiment.
Honestly, it can be as simple as taking a shower. As a chronic illness fighter, Julia knows this battle first hand. MS in particular can cause intense bouts of fatigue when you are in a flare that makes something as simple as a shower feel overwhelming. It may be the only thing you accomplish that afternoon or that day, but it is a win to be celebrated all the same.
Prioritizing these basic tasks and accepting that some days you just get to do the basics is the heart of self-keeping.
In short, we understand self-keeping as the group of habits and routines that we weave throughout our lives to help us function in the ways that are important to us.
Self-care is what we do when these habits and routines are strained by external or internal forces and we need to make an extra investment in our wellbeing.
While we as a company focus and discuss self-care often, self-keeping is our foundation. They are complementary elements to living a balanced and healthy life.
J & W