In this month of love, I thought I would spend some time talking about loving yourself, known in the therapeutic community as self-care. Self-care is something that is often misconstrued in Western society as being selfish, I beg to differ. Self-care is actually something quite self-LESS.
I find many of my clients, especially those that are parents, give so much of themselves that they run themselves into the ground. I like to use the image of the airplane oxygen mask instructions, “Help yourself, before helping others”. If you first go to help a child put on their mask and you run out of oxygen, then you are BOTH in trouble. The same goes with giving of yourself to others. If you do not take time to replenish your internal resources, your resources will eventually run out and you will have nothing left for yourself or for others. “Running on empty” often results in being easily irritated, having little to no patience, snapping at people and having no space for empathy. Without self-care you are also more susceptible to illness, anxiety and depression.
Therefore, I challenge you to use this month of love to practice finding ways to love yourself for 15-30 minutes everyday. It doesn’t have to be anything big or something that costs money. Taking care of yourself can be as simple as sitting down with a cup of tea and a comfy chair. One resource I have found to be hugely helpful is the self-care wheel. I love how this chart provides a multitude of ideas for all life domains. So make the selfLESS decision to commit to taking time for self-care everyday, so you have more to give to those you love. Write a comment below – I’d love to hear how you are taking care of yourself today!