The Importance of Self Care
Before we look at the importance of self-care we need to know what it is. Self-care is about recognising our own needs; it is about doing activities to recharge our batteries.
What this will look like will be different for each of us. For some this may involve sitting with a cup of tea and doing nothing, but for others it may involve being more active – going for a walk or being creative for example.
But self-care is more than just that. It is also about looking at what we agree to do or not do – learning to say yes and no as appropriate. It means that we need to stop being a people pleaser. What do we mean by this?
A people pleaser is someone who will always put the needs of others first and doesn’t usually consider what they may want to do, or what they may need.
As the analogy goes when you are on an aeroplane you are advised to fit your own oxygen mask before you help others – if you don’t do this you will not be able to help those around you. Another analogy is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to be recharged and filled up so that you can support others –which is what most of us want to do. Self-care is a big part of that process, and the activities that we do to support our own wellbeing will be the activities that will help us to be there for those that we care about.
Many people confuse self-care with being selfish, after all. we grow up being told to always think about others. Self-care is not being selfish. Someone whose actions are selfish will have a certain attitude about them, but someone who is practicing self-care will have a very different attitude. You can tell someone that you will be there for them but you can also make time to ensure that your own needs are being met as well.
Once you start to practice some self-care you will realise the benefits that it brings to you as well as to those around you. You will feel more able to cope with situations that life throws at you because you will know what you need to do to recharge your batteries.
If this is not something you are used to doing start small – set aside an hour a week. Ideally setting aside some time each day would be a good practice but if you are new to self-care start small and build on it. Once you see the difference that it makes you will want to continue to incorporate this into your everyday life.
So how will you take care of yourself today?
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