Self-Care Is Baked Right Into Us

Without the ability to care for ourselves, there would be no human species, there would be no life.
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Look around…we have never had more information and reminders about how to take care of ourselves — eat healthier, exercise, get more sleep, be grateful, stay hydrated, take time for yourself, breathe — and yet, we have never been sicker, more anxious, less fulfilled, less ourselves. Dare I say, less human? What’s going on?

When I talk to people, mostly they will sheepishly admit, yes, they know they need to do something. And they’ve tried. Sometimes, it will even seem like what they’re doing is working, at least for a while. But at some point, they find themselves back where they started. In other words, back to ignoring themselves and denying what it is they really need to do in order to take good care of themselves.

Yes, the world is distracting, and we are far too busy and overwhelmed. So, corporations have filled the void with a multi-billion dollar industry convincing us we need what they are selling us in order to take good care of ourselves.

But what if the real reason we never seem able to figure out how to care for ourselves is because we have begun to forget the obvious, simple fact that self-care is built in? At its most basic and authentic, self-care is baked right into us. It is innate and hardwired into our nervous system and we can access it at any time. It is a part of every cell, organ, and tissue layer, woven deep into our capacity to be able to survive and thrive.

If this makes sense, then the first step in taking better care of yourself is to understand and align with a simple biological truth: Self-care is within you. It is you. This means you all already know how to do it. It means that even if you have forgotten, it can never be lost to you. It also means that only you, and no other, is the ultimate authority in caring for yourself. The health practitioners, medical suggestions, trends, cultural edicts, research and fads can all serve as potential supports for your wellness, but the real source of healing lies within you.

Without the ability to care for ourselves, there would be no human species, there would be no life. This is a powerful concept to embrace. From this perspective, the accelerating rates of illness and disease are not bad genes, bad luck, or just the way it is now. It is a result of an entire species forgetting what is most natural and necessary to who we are. However, it also presents us with the opportunity to remember and look within once again for the knowledge of how to care for ourselves. It is always available to us.

Susan McNamara is a woman who cares deeply about how we are living and how it is that we treat ourselves, each other, and the planet. She is the founder of “The HealerWithin,” a unique online healing community for women, and the author of Trusting Your Body: The Embodied Journey of Claiming Sacred Responsibility for Your Health & Well-Being. She can be reached at

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