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It's Never Too Late to Take Care of Yourself

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It's Never Too Late to Take Care of Yourself

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month, a time when brands and experts reach out to remind everyone to take some time to care for their own mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The National Day Calendar notes that many people tend to put others before themselves, which is an endearing and even faith-based trait. Taking care of and serving others is important, but it's easy to forget about your own needs after you've put them on the back burner so long.

Individuals who have retired and moved into our Fort Worth assisted living community may have spent much of their lives taking care of others. But your time in our vibrant community offers an opportunity to begin taking care of yourself in big and small ways every day. If you haven't taken that opportunity to heart yet, September is a great month to begin a self-care habit. Here are three things you can do to take care of yourself.

1. Keep Up With Medical Appointments

Sometimes when people talk about self-care, we get visions of long soaks in the tub or downtime spent with our favorite hobbies, and those are certainly worthy ways to invest time in your body, soul and mind. But it's not all fun and games when it comes to taking care of yourself, and keeping up with medical appointments and checkups is critical to living a long, healthy life.

Regular checkups or treatment appointments let you stay ahead of any health issues, best manage medication and consult your health care providers about appropriate diet and exercise. If you're falling behind with medical checkups, take a few minutes during September to schedule the necessary appointments.

2. Practice the 7 Pillars of Self-Care

The International Self-Care Foundation published the seven pillars of self-care to help individuals develop a comprehensive approach to taking care of themselves.

  • Health literacy. Access, review and learn about basic health information so you can make educated decisions about your own care.
  • Self-awareness of your own physical and mental condition. Know thyself so you can treat thyself appropriately.
  • Physical activity. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is a known health risk for any person, so get up and get moving as much as you can (following the advice of your health care providers).
  • Healthy eating. Balanced nutrition fuels your body and keeps it going, even as you age. We make it easy to eat right here in our Fort Worth assisted living community; you have access to delicious meals and snacks in the dining room.
  • Risk avoidance or mitigation. You don't need to stop living life, but you should begin to be aware of risks such as illness or falls. Furnish your assisted living apartment to keep trip risks to a minimum, for example.
  • Good hygiene. It's easy to put small daily tasks aside, thinking one day won't matter. But if you get in the habit of skipping good hygiene because you're too tired or busy, you may wake up wondering when the last time you brushed your hair — or even your teeth — was.
  • Responsible use of products and medications. Take time to learn about what health products are available to you, and talk to your providers or the Bethesda Gardens staff to understand how you can use them responsibly to care for yourself.

3. Invest in Yourself

We spend our resources — time, money and emotional investment — on the things we most value. Make sure you make some decisions that invest in you and know that you are valuable. You might:

  • Buy the occasional item that you really want, such as a new piece of clothing, a music CD, something for your assisted living apartment, a new book or a game
  • Subscribe to a streaming channel, app service or magazine that provides you with meaningful entertainment or knowledge
  • Invest time in planning an outing to a museum or other local place you enjoy spending time at

However you invest in yourself, never feel guilty for doing so. Self-care is important for everyone, and a healthier, happier you is more able to serve others.