By Vivianne A. Griffiths MSN, APRN ,CCLC
There are probably as many definitions of “self- love” as are individuals. For me, it is more of a verb than a noun. What I mean is, I try to put into action behaviors that affirm who I am, and what I need to do for self-care. Reflecting on a full-time profession where I am responsible for providing clinical care, and compassion to people of all walks of life, as well as constantly updating my knowledge, I find that sleep, being near bodies of water, and therapeutic massage is what revitalizes me. I am trying to practice what I preach to my patients about self-care, but for me work-life balance is not accomplished many days.
I realize that for women, you don’t have to work outside of the home to have these issues. A full time, stay at home mother, can also be working from dawn to dusk. Then there is the woman that has more than one job and still must provide for her family when she is at home. Also consider those of us in the sandwich generation. We have children to care for, as well as aging or ill parents or family members for whom we are responsible. You are not a magician or a miracle worker, but a woman of diligence. I applaud you! Now let’s look at healthy behaviors as a form of self-love. There is a difference between being selfish and being self-affirming.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the number one killer of women. Having regular medical exams is a form of prevention. In the article, “Know your numbers”, the following knowledge is considered essential:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) this calculates your weight with your height
- Blood pressure
I am grateful to say that my BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels are normal (however with many years of being on medication to control it. I have never been diabetic). My patients love that I can be transparent with them regarding needing medication for chronic conditions. Having had parents who died prematurely from uncontrolled blood pressure and cholesterol, God has blessed me to surpass their age of death. A great resource you may find helpful from the CDC is “5 Minutes for Women’s Health”; “Coping with Stress”; and the “Health Related Quality of Life” 2018. Also view The American Heart Association’s You Tube Video “Go Red for Women” 2014-2015.
So, my personal self -love plan is to consciously think about time management, and meeting the need of rest and sleep. Not meeting this need affects my mind, body and spirit. I am at my best self after having seven or more hours of sleep. Although I am not a morning person, my disposition at home and work, is noticeably better even early in the day, with adequate sleep.
So what does Self-Love look like to you? Do you have a positive and affirming plan for the year 2020?
Remember for healthy outcomes, create a healthy plan.