I take better care of my car than my body!

I take better care of my car than my body!

I take better care of my car than my body!

Have you ever stopped to consider that we take greater care of our cars than we do of ourselves?

Let’s look at the facts.

We have to be very particular about the types of fuels and oils that we put into our cars, and to make sure our cars are regularly maintained. If we don’t, it will not run smoothly, economically, or – in extreme cases of neglect – we can end up ruining our car altogether. Make the mistake of putting diesel into an unleaded car and the consequences can cause total engine shut down. Some people are even particular about where they get their fuel from – going out of their way to drive to a particular petrol station where they know they get clean, great quality fuel.

Yet, how many of us put this level of care into our own bodies?

Food and drink is our fuel – yet are we as particular about the type of fuel we put into our bodies? Do we go out of our way to make sure we have the best fuel – or is near enough good enough, and in some cases, whatever fuel is available will do? Seriously, most of us would have to answer ‘yes’ to that.

How often have we let ourselves get so hungry that we will literally eat anything? Yet we cannot do this to our cars, let’s face it – it is not like we can fill our car up with Coke if we run out of fuel.

We know this about our cars, yet we do not have the same discernment with our own bodies. It is very rare for us to run out of fuel in our cars – there is a point where we know we have to fill up our tanks – yet we let our bodies get so depleted that we turn to sugar and caffeine to sustain us. The problem with this is we put ourselves into a cycle of constant highs and lows – the body gets a high from sugar and caffeine, which is equally followed by the opposite low effect, and on the cycle goes. Our cars would not put up with this level of strain, yet amazingly our bodies do, they are much more tolerant and giving than a car is. But at some point it does catch up, whether it be exhaustion, fatigue or some other form of illness and disease, making us stop and assess how we are taking care of our bodies.

And what about how we drive our cars?

We all know that cars can overheat, so we take steps to make sure this does not happen – we check our oil and water and never allow our cars to run 24/7, as they are not designed to do so. But how many of us run our bodies 24/7 and without making sure we are properly fuelled and hydrated? “24/7? you say, but I do sleep!”

Yes, we may sleep, but when we are living in anxiousness, worry, stress, or any form of emotion, our bodies do not fully surrender to the sleep process – so in effect we may be asleep, but we are not resting and regenerating. How many of us have woken up more tired than when we went to sleep? We hit that snooze button 10 times and wish we didn’t have to get out of bed. That is simply us running our bodies 24/7, exhausting ourselves to the point that, if we were a car, we would – best case scenario – want to trade ourselves in, and – worst case scenario – need a new car altogether.

So the question is begging to be asked: why do we look after our cars better than we do our own bodies?

What happens that we do not give the same care and consideration to something that we live in 24/7? There is no escaping our bodies, and how we look after them will determine whether we drive a Ferrari or a beaten up jalopy.

The truth is that if we took our cars to the mechanic in the state many of us take our bodies to work, our homes, families and our doctors, our mechanics would say: “What are you doing to your car? This is not ok!” and a good mechanic would support us to see where we were not caring for our cars and what we needed to do.

However, the way we treat our car, and our body, is ultimately a reflection of the way we see ourselves.

The fact is that if we understood our own true self-worth, we would not punish our bodies the way we do. We do not tend to associate the way we eat with how we feel about ourselves. Ironically, instead, we use food to stop ourselves from feeling how we truly feel. So we use chocolate to make us feel better, coffee to deal with our exhaustion etc.

Ultimately, we make these choices because we do not value ourselves as we should. And there is a bit of chicken and egg scenario here, for if I do not learn to self-care, then I cannot know my self-worth either.

Therefore, self-care is the bridge that leads us back to knowing our own true value. It is through self-care that we begin to understand how precious we are. As we take more self-care, it actually starts to become more natural to do so.

60% Complete

Our body as a car on the racetrack of life

We look after our cars much quicker than we look after our body when something doesn’t feel right. Why don’t we pay attention to how we are driving our body when things go wrong? Are we settling for a quick fix?

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  • By Caroline Raphael, Psychologist, BPsych, MAPS, EPA Recognised

    Life has so much to teach us, whether amazing or difficult there is always something to learn and evolve from. I love people and all our quirky differences. I love how we come together in crisis, that beneath it all we are fundamentally the same.

  • Photography: Joseph Barker

    To sketch, paint and question life. To cook, laugh and wonder why. To hug, hum and appreciate the sky, to look into another's eyes. These are some of the reasons Joseph loves life and is inspired to contribute to this amazing site.