9 Correlations of Self-Care and Car Maintenance
When we begin the journey of reclaiming ourselves through self-care, the information out there can be overwhelming. I try to consistently make the correlation of self-care, specifically massage therapy, to regular maintenance of your vehicle. Many of us treat our bodies like we treat our vehicles. We fill it up when it is almost empty, and when we hear a noise that seems off, feel it not driving 'properly,' or if it doesn't start, we take it into a mechanic. When it gets dirty, we wash it, and some folks make sure to keep the vehicle looking clean and nice at all times, no matter the state of it's engine or wheels. But so many more treat their vehicles better than they treat their bodies. Your body is your vehicle for this reality experience, so when it fails, it is rather difficult to move through the experience. Just like with your ride, it is essential to at least maintain functioning levels, but we really should keep the body at optimal levels. Why wait?
The following correlative points are taken from this article, 9 Surprising Facts about Car Maintenance:
1. KNOW YOUR MANUAL
Your manual consists of records. What is the state of your health right now, according to your activity level, eating habits, drug or alcohol usage, or prescription medications? What do your most recent health screening results look like? History? What illnesses or diseases have you or family members suffered with in the past? What do you routinely do? Brush teeth, floss, meditate, deep condition hair, avoid products with chemicals, workaholic, tendency towards laziness, have hobbies you regularly work on, spend a lot of time with your eyes in front of a screen, or use a microwave - you get the picture. The list of what we routinely do is exhaustive, since our routines are creating a record of our habits, and those habits will alter our health for better or worse, sooner or later. Also, it is important to know one's needs and one's wants, personality, emotions, and conflict resolution strategies. These things have to do with the mind, so understanding where you're coming from internally, helps you to know why you respond or react the way you do when it comes to taking care of the body or overindulgence, or externally.
2. IT'S NOT JUST THE OIL
Don't overlook the flow of fluid in and out of the body! Everyone knows how important water is, but avoiding keeping hydrated is detrimental to everything from stress response to skin elasticity, to muscle repair, and everything in between. Water is necessary for cell functioning, organs running efficiently, mucous and saliva production, spine and brain support, and is involved in producing hormones and neurotransmitters. Because of it's importance in brain health, dehydration can cause serious damage to thinking processes and reasoning abilities. There are many reasons why water is essential to the body vehicle, but two of the most important ones are that it helps maintain blood pressure and regulate body temperature. Without proper functioning of these, responses to life experiences are simply not adequately enjoyed or dealt with.
3. YOU CAN SAVE MONEY WITH DIY
Self-care is the DIY equivalent to car maintenance. Keeping the body and mind at optimal levels, or at least working towards optimization, saves thousands of dollars in the long run, and may keep you in this experience just a bit longer, to help a few more people and work on whatever kind of legacy you are leaving behind in this world. Many people are workaholics and spend so much time on the job, leaving relationships neglected, and the body in need of a major overhaul when retirement comes around. We learn this later, but paying attention to those who go before us, can help us take proper inventory of our priorities. Retirement is an inevitability, so will you work your ass off only to turn around and spend that hard earned money literally repairing your ass while your funds are exponentially depleted or will you maintain body, mind, and spirit, while pursuing what you love, so should hard times come during retirement years, you are still fully capable of working with a fully functional body?
4. TIRES AFFECT MILEAGE
While not everyone is fortunate to have both feet, for those that do, wearing the right shoes, proper socks that allow the feet to breathe, and foot care are essential to moving the body vehicle around. While tires are equivalent to feet, the point is to stay grounded. So if you have issues with your feet, I encourage you to do all that you can to keep them comfortable, clean, and wart and callous free. In the meantime, grounding in general is essential to self-care. Regular meditation, exercise, and getting out in nature are all excellent ways to get grounded.
5. BELTS WEAR OUT
YOUR MUSCLES & CONNECTIVE TISSUES! Almost everyone has experienced a strain or sprain. These can be debilitating, and rest is essential to muscle healing. While strains and sprains are unfortunately a part of this experience, they are not as prevalent as muscle tension is. The prevalence of muscle tension is, fortunately, NOT a necessary part of this experience. Following a DIY plan of self-care that works for you, helps change how you respond to stress. With the right plan, you can keep muscle tension at bay. And of course, this is the main reason people seek out massage therapy!
6. BRAKES NEED ATTENTION TOO
Your emotional stability is likened to a vehicle's brake system. Routines with plenty of positive opportunities for personal and career growth are ways to maintain or improve upon emotional stability. Seeking professional counsel to resolve past traumas or to learn better ways to respond to conflict is not indulgent nor irrelevant. Don't let pride, a red flag of emotional instability, keep you from learning to love yourself better! Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you try to save others.
7. YOU CAN SHOP AROUND
Just because someone you admire adheres to a particular program or routine, doesn't necessarily mean that it, or that doctor, or that massage therapist is the right one for you. Sometimes you need a variety of programs and sometimes you need a few massage therapists- one who is great at helping you de-stress and one whose knowledge of anatomy and physiology will get you back to work in record time after pulling a muscle.
8. USE THE RIGHT GAS
THE DREADED DIET. What you put in, will come out. Remember that. So when your energy level is low, consider what kind of energy you are putting in your body and what the overall vibe of your work and home are like. It all matters.
9. KEEP YOUR CAR CLEAN
While this may be a no brainer, for some folks grooming just isn't a priority. Besides the obvious brushing teeth and brushing or combing hair, habits like nail care and body odor are not as obvious. Simply biting or cutting nails with a nail clipper can actually cause a setback to your day to day. Improper nail care can cause infections in the skin and rough nails can cut through the skin. While these may seem minor, for someone like me, whose work is dependent on my hands, taking care my nails properly ensures I continue doing what I love.
As far as body odor, if it is an issue, deodorant and perfume simply will not cover it up. If anything it can actually magnify, because attempting to cover a strong scent with another strong scent, is really a matter of addition. Now you have two strong smells coming off the body at once! There are many ways to alter body odor. Diets. Like I said, what goes in will come out. A doctor, dermatologist, or dietician are all relevant professionals that may help with getting to the root problem of body odor.
If this list seems exaggerated, remember while you can always trade your vehicle in when it's no longer useful or desired, you cannot trade your body in. You may be able to get a new knee, shoulder, or a device implant to keep an organ running, but why go through that pain, expense, and trouble when you can actually maintain your youthfulness by how you respond to yourself? Think about it.
In the meantime, give me a call to schedule your next body tune up!