By Dr. Daniel Soubhi Sima’an ND
June 24th 2019 marks a day that celebrates everyone’s favourite person: You! International Self-Care Day is a day in which Canadians of various walks of life come together to raise awareness around the notion of caring for oneself, something we all too often neglect. Self –care is defined as the “practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” (Merriam Webster, 2019). In the practical sense, it’s any deliberate action that you take to help yourself in any aspect of health. With that in mind, let’s explore two potentially helpful ways that you can practice self-care both on June 24th as well as throughout the year.
Take a deep breath!
A regularly overlooked area of our lives is the crucial aspect of rest. Many of us run around with jobs that preoccupy much of our time, and try our best to make due with what remains to balance our families, personal lives, marriages/relationships, bills, taxes, Netflix, eating, going to the bathroom, staying relatively clean…. you get the picture. How about next time you’re absolutely overwhelmed sitting down for a few minutes to simply take a few deep breaths! A 2015 study by Jerath, Crawford, Barnes and Harden indicates that even simple exercises such as deep breathing should play a role in our own prevention and treatment of anxiety. The question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re willing to take 10 seconds for your health’s sake
One very easing technique is what we call box breathing
i. Take one deep breath in for 4 seconds
ii. Hold your breath for 4 seconds
iii. Take a deep breath OUT for 4 seconds
iv. Hold your breath for 4 seconds
AND REPEAT for 2-3 mins
A 2017 Cochrane review showed that indeed diaphragmatic (or deep) breathing techniques do play an important role in reducing anxiety levels of “care recipients in clinical and community settings” (Cochrane Database, 2017).
Get some sleep
As hard as this may sound to many of us, getting a good night’s sleep is often the difference between a good and a bad day and hence is a NECESSARY part of human well-being. A 2018 study from Frontiers of Psychology made a very important discovery which is nonetheless quite intuitive in saying that quality of sleep predicts life satisfaction and also the notion of “zero-sum happiness” (Shin, Kim, 2018). Patients who sleep better tend to view happiness as something that anyone and everyone can achieve regardless of their own personal situation. Those who sleep poorly, however, tend to maintain a more pessimistic outlook on life and happiness, comparing themselves with others, and cherishing positive experiences less!
How does BodyWorx Fit in?
If you’re finding you’re having a hard time sleeping, taking a deep breath or even supporting a healthy day to day lifestyle please don’t feel like you’re stuck. There is hope and we’re here to help you. Whether it’s getting rid of the daily aches and pains or providing you with a structured self-care plan we’re there. Looking for better sleep? We have many practitioners in our clinic ready to help you get the best sleep of your life. From proper sleep positions, to pillows, to relaxation before bed, and regulating your sleep cycle, we’re here to make sure your Body Worx for you!
Wishing you all a happy self-care day this June 24th and every other day of the year,
Dr. Daniel Soubhi Sima’an B.Sc., N.D.
Jerath, R., Crawford, M. W., Barnes, V. A., & Harden, K. (2015). Self-regulation of breathing as
a primary treatment for anxiety. Applied Psychophysiology and biofeedback, 40(2), 107-115.
Chen, Y. F., Huang, X. Y., Chien, C. H., & Cheng, J. F. (2017). The effectiveness of
diaphragmatic breathing relaxation training for reducing anxiety. Perspectives in psychiatric
care, 53(4), 329-336.
Shin, J. E., & Kim, J. K. (2018). How a Good Sleep Predicts Life Satisfaction: The Role of Zero-
Sum Beliefs About Happiness. Frontiers in psychology, 9.