Tips on living a healthy and full life

Self care and culture: a cuppa white tea anyone?

Self care is personal. Going into a hot tub is one person’s idea of sheer bliss and for someone else, more like a chemically laden bath that is to avoided at all costs.

Self care is also cultural.

Believe it or not Ripley, coffee isn’t everyone’s ‘go to’ drink when meeting up with a friend. When self care is promoted, we are often encouraged to go out with a friend for a cup of coffee or tea. In terms of cultural influences, ‘though, it may not be a cup of tea, or regular tea, as it were. It may well be chai tea, Bubble tea, or white tea (hot water with rose water).

Maybe it’s a massage. Or maybe it’s Champi, an Indian head massage. Or shiatsu (Japanese). Or maybe it’s a Thai massage.

We asked you, our elizz readers, what you do to practice self care in your culture. Here are some of your responses:

  • Smudge/sing/drum (Indigenous woman)
  • Speak with elder and family dance traditional dances-sing-drumming-eat healthy traditional food -moose meat and sockeye salmon (Gitxsan Nation culture)
  • Smudge daily
  • Big fat-greek pot luck dinners
  • Connect with Filipino culture and traditions
  • Pray
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Hang out with friends
  • Dancing

Coconut scalp massage any one?

While the concept of ‘self care’ is a foreign one in some cultures, there are common practices for relaxation and taking care of yourself.  In Taiwan, for example, naps during lunch hour are common. In Pakistan, coconut scalp massages are popular. There is a bath house on virtually every corner in Japan. If you live in Switzerland, you are likely to head out to the hiking trails. A Swiss couple I worked with in Canada went for daily 3 hour walks. I should also mention they were both in their late 80s!

Take care of myself? What?

I spoke with Jaspreet, a daughter with aging parents, and she emphasized the point that there are generational differences as well. In her Indian culture for example, her parents would watch tv, nap or spend time with family to relax. For her own generation, Jaspreet said that they are more likely to go to the gym, go shopping, and value eating healthy. Even the idea of taking care of yourself is generational. For Jaspreet’s parents, for example, the focus was on other people taking care of you- your children and spouse in particular. While this is still prevalent, conversations also now include the responsibility to help yourself by taking care of yourself.

You know that taking care of yourself while caring for others is an elizz mantra. How about meeting a friend and trying a different kind of tea? Or booking a Champi?




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