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.
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