Over the next few days I’d like to discuss self-care in depth. For those of us in the northern hemisphere we’re moving from summer to autumn. I love this season because it routinely becomes a time of self reflection for me. It is a great time to conduct some evaluation of how life is moving and where I can perhaps make some positive changes. As we explore the topic of self-care I’d invite you to voice your thoughts in the comments section below and share the topic with others. It is my belief that we can all learn from each other.
So what word comes to mind when you think about self-care? Make a mental note of that word. All too often when people think about self-care they think about spoiling themselves. Spoiling ourselves or pampering is a whole different subject than self-care. When we have that extra piece of dessert, buy something that we feel we deserve or get a spa treatment we are self-indulging which is an entirely different thing. Self-indulgence can be a good thing in moderation but it is not self-care.
Self-care means being intentional about making some changes and committing to putting value on who you are. Go back to what you first thought about when I asked you what came to mind when you hear self-care. All too often people associate a sense of guilt with self-care. And all too often this comes from a culture that is very busy and puts extremely high expectations on people.
I’ll use myself as an example. In my line of work as a massage therapist, I am also a caregiver. People come to me for a variety of reasons some of which might be but are not limited to chronic pain, sports injuries, stress and emotional fatigue. A few years ago I came to the decision that it would be in the best interest of my clients and me if I limited the number of people I saw every day. For me, I don’t worry so much about the physical side of my job as much as the emotional energy that it requires. By freeing up my work schedule it allowed me to put more of an investment into myself. The bottom line is that if I don’t take care of myself then I do all of my clients a disservice. I need to be at the top of my game physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically to give my best. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have challenging days or off days. But it helps me limit those days.
So the first thing that is absolutely necessary when creating a self-care plan is realizing that you do have to be a little selfish. But the energy gained from a good self-care plan is empowering and makes you more effective with the time that you have. Below is how I would sum up what self-care means to me.
Self-care means taking care of myself on a regular, timely basis so that in turn I can care and provide for others in my world and life. In order to take care of myself it is necessary for me to acknowledge that I need to be healthy in my mind, body and spirit! It might even mean that I give myself permission to be a little bit selfish!
One of the biggest obstacles to a good self-care program is time. Let’s face it. We live in a very busy world where many people and many things are vying for our time. So to end today’s post I’d like you to take part in a little exercise. Take the next day or so to think about this and give it merit. Make notes that you can come back to.
What gives you joy?
- If you had the next two hours to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?
- If you had one hour available what would you do?
- How about thirty minutes? What would you do if you had half an hour to do something for yourself?
- And if you only had ten minutes, what would you do that would benefit you?
I encourage you to comment below on the topic and how you feel. Share this post with others via Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to and value your thoughts! We’ll continue to explore this very important area in our lives. Thanks for reading!
In good health