- I am worthy of self-care because…
- I am in need of more self-care in my everyday life because…
I asked these two questions in the private LinkedIn group the other day and whilst everyone who commented answered the second one ok, only 1 in 3 answered the first. It made me feel really sad that these wonderful people couldn’t see they are worthy of caring about themselves too. Therein lies the reason I felt it was important to focus on self-care this month.
It’s not just others though. I never considered the need to care for myself until I had children, of course, I was doing it anyway, it was easier to find ‘me-time’ back then. Now with working (particularly in a caring role), nurturing my family and with the pressures of life generally it has never been so important to me. I have to make time for it, it is a conscious decision to so and sometimes I don’t and sometimes I don’t notice…and then I do.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
Is self-care indulgent?
Self-care can seem indulgent, selfish even but I don’t believe that is true. I think it is a necessity, more than that, I think it is a need we all have but we ignore for fear of what others may think of us. I’ve talked about the Human Givens before and for me, self-care is an emotional need and depending on what you need emotionally could be an opportunity to reflect or perhaps to go out and feel part of a wider community.
We might eat healthily, exercise, take holidays; we might have all that we ‘think’ we want and we might project how good our lives are out on social media. Do we really believe our own hype though? What is going on away from the outside world? In the privacy of our own home or our mind? Do you *really* take time to reconnect?
Has anyone ever said to you – ‘you’re doing too much’? How did it make you feel? Did you get defensive and say ‘I’m ok, really I am, I like to be busy’ (a favourite of mine) or did you acknowledge you are doing too much but bury it, not knowing where to start? Perhaps you acknowledged it and did something about it? If so, please share your tips in the comments below!
Self-care takes courage, it takes commitment and it can seem like yet another thing that we *should* be doing. One person in the group said that although they knew it was important to look after themselves, they ignored it to cut corners. A superb insight. I would challenge you to give something else up in order to care about yourself or at the very least to ‘find’ time. It needn’t be anything big – here are some of the brilliant suggestions from the group:
- having a coffee without needing to talk to anyone
- taking a deep, long bath
- watching tv
- getting outside
- washing my hair
- silly conversation with someone I love
- taking time to reflect daily
- saying no to the things I don’t want to do
- daily yoga
By adding in time to care for yourself then you are always replenishing yourself rather than reaching burn out and then having to do much more about the situation. I have personally found that mindfulness has been really helpful in me realising I am not caring for myself before I reach burn out but there are other methods if mindfulness doesn’t work for you, try some out for yourself. I would also encourage you to listen to your intuition and to ask yourself questions – even if the answer doesn’t come to you immediately.
Taking care means reconnecting with yourself, it means embracing our imperfections, it means being gentle with ourselves.
Do you feel you care for yourself enough? If not then join our LinkedIn group and/or contact me to find out how I can help.