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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Heather Allen, MS, PT
The Importance of Self-Care
Journeying into Healing, LLC
. http://www.journeyingintohealing.com/

The Importance of Self-Care

Receiving physical therapy for your aches and pains or to help you recover from an acute injury is very important. But you have to do more than just show up for your appointment and let the therapist work on you. It is important for all of us to learn the skill of self-care. Self-care isn't just limited to doing whatever home exercises you have been given. It means taking better care of yourself in all respects, a skill that many of us lack or don't practice consistently.

So let's say you are the most compliant patient. You go to all your therapy appointments and work on all your exercises at home. But what if you don't allow yourself enough sleep from one day to the next? What if you are so busy you rarely eat a well-rounded meal, much less taste it as you rush to get it down? What if you carry your work stress home at the end of each day and wake up with it the next morning? Despite your great therapy compliance, you could still be undoing many of the great therapy benefits you've received.

The truth is we aren't very good at taking care of ourselves. We use excuses we're too busy, others' care comes before ours, or perhaps we feel guilty taking time for ourselves. Any way we look at it, we are shorting ourselves of something very important. None of us can be who we need to be and take care of those we need to care for, if we don't take care of ourselves. We will reach a point when our own health begins to decline. We become ill or get injured and then are of no use to anyone.

So what can we do to prevent this and prioritize ourselves? Set boundaries. We need to set time aside in our schedule to not only do the exercises that have been given to us but to enjoy a quiet and relaxed meal. Set aside time for yourself to sit and read a book or settle into quiet meditation. These things will go a long way to extending the benefits of therapy and in the end allow us to be more healthy and whole individuals.

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