Why self care matters

Caitlin McKeand, Staff Reporter

In the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, self-care is defined as any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.

In other words, doing whatever is necessary to achieve physical and mental health; meet social and psychological needs; prevent illness or accidents, and care for minor ailments and long-term conditions. Everyone has views of what the ideal version of self help and self care looks like, but it’s not limited to one thing or another.

Self care is not at all a new concept, nor is it something anyone is “too cool” or “too busy” for.

Often times, when someone is feeling depressed, stressed, anxious, or dissociated, they can begin to unknowingly ignore their baseline needs which doesn’t help the situation.

However, it’s important to realize that it’s an impossible hope to be happy all the time, 24/7, around the clock. The body has a process called Homeostasis. This means that the body has to have equal actions on both sides of the scale given. When you get sick, you won’t always be sick, nor will you always be healthy. When you are in a state of depression, you won’t always be in a state of depression, nor will you always be in a state of happiness. The body, when experiencing an extreme high or extreme low, must eventually revert to the baseline.

This is often why people credit their therapists for helping to relieve the mental health “common cold” depression, when it is simply the body reverting to its baseline of needs.

I am in no way, shape or form discrediting therapy, as I believe it can truly help to speed up the process of healing.

People seem to think that taking time for yourself in order to help yourself is “selfish” when in actuality, it is the opposite. Taking time off and letting the world revolve around you for even 30 minutes can contribute to helping your body to recuperate. Sometimes it is as simple an action of taking a shower, drinking a glass of water, eating a meal, exercising, or spending time with a pet.

I encourage you to spend some time today giving yourself some love and care. As Parks and Rec made famous, “Treat yo Self!”