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"Here's To Your Health" with Dr. Kimberly Arnold

How Do You Engage In Self Care?

During my last blog post, I discussed the meaning of health and asked you all to share what health means to you and some things that you do to maintain your health. In one person’s response, they mentioned that health means being able to afford self-care (including medical, dental, vision, mental, and homeopathy/natural remedies), receiving high quality care, accessing quality foods, having a healthy work-life balance, and not having to work 3 jobs to make ends meet.

Self-care is a popular term that has been used a lot over the past several years. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” Self-care can be thought of as a set of practices that we use to support and maintain our health.

In the second part of the response from the person mentioned above, they said that self-care is the way they maintain their health:

“I have a lot on my plate…Scheduling down time from activities, even near to our heart, is necessary in a fast-paced life. I exercise 4-5 times per week, eat according to my metabolism, trust my gut in doctor appointments and request second opinions. Be unafraid to self-advocate or request a new physician, especially when you feel racism happening as it relates to your care or your family’s care.”

Since health does not just mean the absence of disease, self-care can involve doing whatever you need to do to support your health in positive ways. As described in Genesis 2:2-3 (NLT),

On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”

This verse is an example of how God engaged in self-care and took a day of rest after creating the world. If God our Creator took a break, we certainly need to take breaks when needed. Whether we choose to take a full day of rest per week or a couple hours per day, it is important for us to rest. Taking breaks and getting rest are examples of self-care. Some of my self-care activities include prayer and reading Scripture, exercising, meditating, getting massages and facials, and reading a book or magazine while being wrapped in a cozy blanket and sipping a cup of mint medley tea.

How do you engage in self-care? How do you balance self-care with taking care of family, work, and other responsibilities?

Click here to email me your responses! I'd love to share your tips with others.


Dr. Kimberly T. Arnold is a public health researcher and practitioner who specializes in holistic health practices, community-based health interventions, and improving social determinants of health including food security, housing, and education. She is a proud and active member of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD.

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