Dr Marina McPherson from Thryve Family Health – and our resident Integrative GP – shares some of her selfcare insights.

We have all been encouraged to practice a little bit of self-care. A massage… a facial… some ME time. These all sound amazing. As a busy mum, I would LOVE to include these in my practice on a weekly (or more realistically, monthly!) basis. However, I propose that there’s another way of practising self-care. We can practice self-care in how we live our days. In how we sleep our nights. In what we model for our children. People often come and see me as an Integrative GP because they would like to have more vitality – to feel better. They would like to take a more natural approach, so they wonder if they need nutritional supplements. I love supplements. I use nutritional supplements to complement people’s health management as appropriate. But the reality is that you cannot out-nutrient a bad diet, a stressful job, a sleepless night, or a sedentary life. I would like to talk here about how daily self-care practices can support us to build a strong and healthy foundation for a life of vitality – for us and for our families.

The four pillars of self-care for good health are:  
1) Nourishing wholesome food that is low in processed food and sugar;
2) Regular physical activity (and avoiding inactivity); 
3) Good restorative sleep (7-8 hours per night for most adults); and 
4) Good stress management, rest and mindfulness practices. 

Getting these foundations in place in our daily lives will significantly improve our health and well-being. Considering 80% of chronic diseases are preventable by diet and lifestyle[1], just think of the potential for our health if we get these basics right. Given that we are likely going to live longer, well into our 80s or 90s, wouldn’t it be good to do it well? With minimal diabetes, buoyant joints and plenty of bounce to enjoy our well-deserved retirement. As well as being good for our health and vitality, incorporating these practices will lead to less disease and so less pressure on our hospitals… and some much-needed economic relief for our aging population. But I think best of all, we will be setting a healthy, positive example for our children and I hope that this will create a generational shift of empowerment and priority in self-care so that we can not only live longer but live better. 

To make an appointment with Dr Marina McPherson, Integrative GP, please call 0421 144 756.

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