Self Care

In the last couple of months, I’ve read a few different people’s take on self-care (one at AngryGreyRainbows and another at Joy Discovered) about self care.  The concept of self care has been percolating in my brain since then.

I googled self care, and found there is a thing called “Self Care Deficit Theory”.  It was conceived by Dorothea Orem, a nurse in the middle of the last century, to help ascertain when a person actually needed nursing care.  She published her theory in 1971.

Within the theory of self-care, Orem identified three categories of self-care requisites: universal self-care requisites, developmental self-care requisites, and health-deviation self-care requisites. Universal self-care requisites are common to all human beings and include physiological and social interaction needs. For example, the sufficient intake of water, air, food and the maintenance of balance in all area of one’s life. Developmental self-care requisites are the needs that arise as the individual grows and develops. This is has to do with more specific events in an individual’s life, e.g. adjusting to the loss of a job, or adjusting to the birth of a newborn. Health-deviation self-care requisites result from the needs produced by disease or illness (DeLaune, Ladner 2002, p. 34).  (From here.)

Self care includes basic needs such as food, air, liquid. 

Such a simple concept, yet one that floored me.  People who want fat people to starve diet, are actually infringing on their ability to self care.

How does this tie into self esteem Friday? 

Today, I was talking with my psychologist about not eating when I’m hungry, not taking care of myself when I’m sick (until it become a major issue and has to be dealt with).  I said something to the order of “well, of course not, after all, I don’t count.”  Immediately as I said it, I knew that the idea came from the brain washing I’d lived through all my life.

My needs didn’t count.  My basic needs such as the need for food and appropriate medical care in the appropriate time, didn’t count.  This lack contributes still to my lack of self esteem, and manifests itself in not taking care of myself. 

When I’m in times of high self esteem, I have no problems with eating for fuel and enjoyment.  I have no problems with going to the doctor.  I have no problems with asking for help for something I’m struggling with.  It’s only when I’m going through times of low self esteem that my self care suffers.

To nourish the body and soul is an act of self care, and can be as simple as eating that avocado (or orange, or steak or ice cream), or as complex as taking a bath with richly scented bubbles, nice relaxing music on the CD or mp3 player and candles creating a warm and inviting time. 

I’m finding for myself, in order to do any type of self care, I have to believe I’m worthy of the time and energy involved to do it.  Even if it’s as simple as eating.


6 Responses

  1. Thank you for this post.

  2. […] has a great post on self-care and how fat people are taught not to take care of their own […]

  3. Great post! I am also one that has to believe that I’m worthy of care, before I’m able to go through with it.

    It’s funny how some part of me can feel I’m not worth it, while some other part of me really needs relaxation or food or even to BREATHE.

    SassyBlonde wrote one of the posts you referenced about self-care… she’s busy right now, so I also would like to say that she is so honored that you linked to her post. You made her weekend. 😉

  4. For me lack of self care at low times shows in what I wear; I wear the same baggy clothes for days (shower every day and put them back on!) and don’t change to go shopping. I leave my hair in the same braid for two or three days. I must look a right mess, but I don’t care enough to spruce up. I’ve been like it all my life, fat or thin, although must admit I am worse when fat, but then being fatter for me has co-incided with more energy-sapping illness (not caused it!) so that element has to be considered too. Self care is harder when you feel too enervated to move yourself.

  5. This is a great post. I was wondering if it would be alright for me to email a copy to my mother (she…doesn’t navigate the interwebs that well)? I’m hoping it will give her some Food for Thought.

    • Sure!

      The only thing I ever ask is if people take my writing they credit me (either leaving a link to my site, or saying something like “Bronwen wrote this”).

      I hope it helps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: