Women’s Wellness Often Misunderstood: Dr. Linda Khoshaba describes the importance of self care
Apr 30, 2014 10:10AM
● By Dr. Linda Khoshaba
When it comes to women’s wellness, self-care is a crucial topic to discuss. Women play many roles, including mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. No matter what part they play, it can be demanding and taxing to their mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Women have a natural motherly and nurturing disposition, and these characteristics can make them susceptible to neglect self-care because they are preoccupied with taking caring of others.
Self-care means taking time to meditate, sing, dance and laugh, physical care such as getting a manicure or pedicure, getting in tune with their inner self and pursuing preventative health. These practices are essential for a healthy overall well-being, even though they may seem impossible to fit into a daily routine or schedule. Just starting with baby steps and incorporating small aspects of self-care into daily life can have dramatic impacts on wellness. If women make themselves a priority, they can enhance their relationships with others, improve the quality of their careers and strengthen their abilities to deal with stress. Here are three easy steps that can start enhancing self-care:
Make a list of things you enjoy: It is always nice to remind ourself of what makes us happy in life. Journaling is a great way to collect thoughts and ideas, and the process of putting these words on paper can begin to make them reality. This exercise can help us focus on what makes us smile and can facilitate self-care to become a regular practice. For example, if we love to sing, we should write down how singing makes us feel and visualize ourself doing it. Our emotions are powerful motivators that can help us achieve our self-care goals.
Take action: Now that we have visualized what makes us happy, reflect on what small choices we can make on a daily basis that will allow us to practice some form of self-care. Perhaps we can choose to take a walk after dinner every night, use five minutes to engage in a breathing exercise or sing on the way to work.
Whatever we decide, we need to keep ourselves accountable, and this will help us succeed. We can download mobile applications that remind us to check in with ourself or set alarms to begin taking action. We can also reach out to friends or family members to help us stay accountable. We needn’t be afraid to ask for help.
Minimize distractions: Women are often multitasking and feel they must do everything on their own. This can lead them to become distracted, because they are attending to the needs of someone else. It is OK to say no to certain projects, appointments and expectations. We can focus on making ourself a priority. Why not? Go ahead and schedule a ladies night out with friends and remember to laugh, it’s great medicine.
In the last 100 years, women’s roles have changed significantly. There are more pressures for women to act as loving partners, mothers and household providers, so self-care could not be more critical than any other time in history.
Dr. Linda Khoshaba received a doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her main areas of focus include women's health, pediatric medicine, diabetes management and prolotherapy. For more information, visit MyIntegrativeHealth.com.