Now, to be able to help those you care about, you have to first start by caring for yourself.
Fortunately, that doesn’t take a ton of effort. Simple measures done consistently can make a tremendous difference in your self-care.
Doing what you can to prevent serious issues is such a simple measure, but can be masked by the other details of life.
Consider a situation wherein a parent takes a child for a bike ride and makes sure the son or daughter wears a helmet, but does not wear one him or herself.
If the parent has an accident and he or she falls to the ground—head smacking hard into the pavement—the child is potentially put in a very bad (and helpless) situation if there’s no one else around. Sure, the child’s head is well-protected, but he or she won’t know what to do.
See, you need to take care of yourself if you’re going to be there to take care of others!
As a quick side note – the good news is that you don’t run across that situation nearly as much nowadays as you once could. It wasn’t that long ago you would often see “kid with helmet and parent without.” But people are getting smarter and this is becoming the norm.
When it comes to taking self-care measures so you can be there for others, this is a particularly important consideration if you’re the only one supporting loved ones!
No matter if it’s just you and your spouse or you’re a single mother raising your kids—or a parent with an older child with disabilities—any unplanned downtime can become a serious situation.
It is virtually impossible to prevent all unexpected problems from arising, but you can at least take some proactive actions to lower the risk of common issues that could develop.
A very common problem—one that is avoidable—is heel pain caused by tight soft tissues.
The leading source of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This condition develops when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and irritated in response to overuse.
A proper stretching regimen only takes a couple of minutes each day, yet it greatly reduces your risk of this condition.
A simple problem like a callus can lead to an ulcer or infection if neglected. The simplest of treatments can easily prevent this from happening.
Another issue you definitely want to avoid is posterior tibial tendonitis. This condition can be a painful “show stopper,” since your posterior tibial tendon is responsible for slowing down and stopping the force of 2x your bodyweight at the end of every step.
Ask any single mom, and she’ll quickly assure you there is no time for the “show” to stop when you’re raising children on your own! To be active, you rely on your feet – but you can’t rely on your feet if you aren’t active.
An easy escape would be to reduce activity, but you will pay the price 10-20 years down the road when your vessels are clogged, 30 lbs. over weight, and your heart is working overtime.
To be active, you rely on your feet – but you can’t rely on your feet if you aren’t active.
For example, losing excess weight relieves a lot of pressure and strain off your feet. And that relief is much more pronounced when you consider the fact that even simply walking can place upwards of 4x’s your bodyweight in force on the landing foot!
As another example, improved cardiovascular health means the tissues in your feet are supplied by a strong flow of oxygenated blood, which carries essential nutrients.
Since your feet allow you to move around, be independent, and care for others, you simply need to care for them.
You can actually think of your feet as being like a car – if you don’t have the oil changed, you’re going to have major problems down the road.
And having the oil changed is simple! (When you go to a service station, at least.)