Self care is NOT selfish! In my work as a psychotherapist/ counsellor I come across so many amazing individuals looking for clarity or help in their everyday lives. I’m so fortunate to have a career that I love. However, there’s one theme that reoccurs regularly in therapy sessions with clients.
Self care! This covers a plethora of themes, actions and habits. So often we are rather concerned about other people’s lives and how best we can help individuals, whether that be family members, friends or colleagues. Our natural instinct (mainly) is to put others before ourselves, whether that is for altruistic reasons, love or just being supportive and generous to others and their needs.
This though can lead to a lack of self-care and understanding of our own needs which are extremely important and should be a priority in most cases. I always use the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty jug!” In other words, if you aren’t full and complete and cared for yourself, then how can you effectively help others? Helping others before attending to ones own needs can lead to a real lack of energy and can adversely affect our own health both mentally and physically.
Looking after our own personal needs should always take priority.
When I discuss this with people – especially women – they often come up with an amazing array of excuses as to why they haven’t thought about their own priorities and needs before helping others,
“Ooh I haven’t got time”
“My daughter needs me”
“I spend most of my money on my grandchildren.”
Everyone has different excuses according to their individual life circumstances.
But, and here’s the BUT, I say if you don’t put your own health and welfare first, sadly you won’t be able to enjoy your family and friends for as long as you would like.
It’s so important for us to recharge our batteries on a daily basis and that can happen in so many different ways, such as:
- 10 minute meditation
- Yoga (check out the free online 10 minute yoga or facial yoga on the A&G YouTube channel)
- Coffee with a friend
- Long walk in the woods
- Luxury massage
- Long hot bath – see my relaxing ritual here
You all have your own and favourite ways of relaxing and taking care of yourself and that should be at the very top of your “to do list” each and every day.
People will always put emotional demands on to you, but explaining that you need to take care of yourself should be paramount.
We, as women and men, at this “mid/golden years” stage in life can have so many pulls on our time and energy -looking after children, grandchildren, parents and sick partners or spouses.
So let me say to you all self care is not selfish – in fact it’s vital. If you want to thrive and live a healthy and long life, daily habits of self-care are so important.
You will know people who always look amazing, always have a busy active and healthy life and fit so much into a day. Well that doesn’t happen just by chance, believe me. It’s probably because they’re actually quite good at fitting in “’me time’ and incorporate quite good self care routines into their life.
Also they are probably very good at saying “No” – that’s for another article ie. how to effectively say NO to others and YES to yourself!
Have an amazing week everyone. Keep going, a little at a time. The path ahead is becoming open once again, however it’s probably a little different to before. You might find my tips and advice on ‘the new way’ useful – if so you can read my article here.
Very best wishes to you all – Lesley x