I have been working with my new therapist on Self-Care. For me this is a hard thing, I always think of everyone else first and myself last. Whenever I do something, fifty questions go through my mind first. Things like – “What will people think?” – “Shouldn’t I be using this time to be helping so-and-so do something?” – “What make me think that I deserve this?” – Etc.
Weeks ago my therapist gave me a post-it with the following message:
WHAT IS MY INTENT OF THE DAY?
I basically took and put it on my mirror and haven’t really wanted to look at it since. The thing that keeps tripping me up on this is that to me SELF-CARE = SELFISH.
Now weeks later and we are still stuck on this Self-Care issue in therapy and we are not going anywhere. Every week she tells me to do one or two things for myself, and every week I feel like I am failing at this. This is making me hate going to therapy because it can’t move past this. It should be so easy. I should be able to do this but… Something has to change and that change has to be me and my thinking. So here goes:
SELF-CARE means: the practice of taking care of yourself, to nourish and recharge your mind, body and spirit, every day.
SELFISH means: caring only or chiefly for oneself; concerned with one’s own interests, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
It is not selfish to care for one’s self, I never put my welfare ahead of others. In fact, I think too much about others. So what do I want self-care to mean for me???
After a lot of thought on this here is what I have come up with – I give myself permission to:
- Create space for just me and my wants in my life.
- Pay attention to my body by asking myself some simple questions
- Do I feel grounded?
- Do I need to be nurtured?
- What is keeping me feeling upset, mad, angry, anxiety, Etc? Identify and let go.
- Am I getting enough sleep, exercise, food? If not, how can I change that?
- What would make me happy, joyful, Etc?
- Say no (Remind myself that right now self-care is important to me, which means I can’t always be available to others)
- Take a minute – am I saying yes because I want to or because I feel obligated to. (it the answer is because of obligation see #3)
- Crank up the tunes and loss myself in the music.
- Get lost in doing my sewing, jewelry, cooking or whatever other crafty thing I want to do, just for the joy of it.
- Forgive myself. I’m not perfect. It’s ok not to be everything to everyone.