For Those of us Who Need to Implement self-care
Life with family and loved ones can become exhausting. If you have people in your life for whom you care deeply…if you have people in your life for whom you feel a responsibility towards, that dedication and devotion, that responsibility can ultimately take its toll. If you share a space your personal space with
people you care about, there will be times when you must give…something of yourself. If you end up giving more to others than you do to yourself, you will inevitably become drained and possibly experience feelings of anxiety. You may also experience irritably or frustration with the most innocent of situations. For example, even though I love my grandchildren with my all, once I’ve given my all, I must take time to replenish me.
It took years for me to realize that I needed to find a balance between giving to my loved ones and taking time to give to myself. I trudged through many dutiful years making certain my husband’s and
children’s and even my grandchildren’s needs were met. As a caregiver…it’s what I do. It’s what I did. I had begun, like you may be, giving to others from a place of deficiency.
I lived on the edge of my emotions, and I could not understand why. Why was I short-tempered, frustrated and sometimes depressed? I was a good person who worked hard, took care of my loved ones, loved my God, and tried to do as He commanded. Why then was I so miserable?
Self-Care is NOT Selfish
Spending all our time, effort and energy on others can make us resentful, causing us to give out of obligation rather than love. For those who believe in Jesus we know that He was not selfish but rather selfless, yet even He went to the garden alone. We are taught that He gave to Himself through talks and walks with God. If we truly believe we are made in His image, then we too must follow His lead and understand that when our load gets too heavy it is not being selfish to refill our own cup. We must listen to our bodies and emotions then realize that we too are human and require the same care as we give others.
Ways to Refill Your own Cup
Self-care is not necessarily spending hours in a bubble bath sipping champagne or eating bon-bons while locked in our boudoir. Self-care is not a onetime luxury. Self-care is achieved when we seek and
reach balance and peace in our heart and mind. This will not happen through a single experience but rather through an ongoing practice that should be incorporated routinely.
Exercise. A brisk walk benefits the whole self. Find a physical activity that you like and get up and get those feel-good endorphins going.
Get more sleep. Establish and maintain better sleep hygiene. There is a definite connection between sleep and mental health.
Eat healthy. Unhealthy food choices and eating habits can lead to weight fluctuations, depression, anxiety and more. Self-care is about balance and healthy eating can help achieve that balance.
Align with your higher self. Love yourself. Nurture your spirit. Breathing, yoga, sound baths, attending to spirituality are various methods of getting in touch with yourself on a deeper level.
Say no without guilt. You can be supportive without taking on unhealthy responsibility for others.
Talk to Someone – Talking to a therapist can help you develop a plan for self-care, achieve balance, and improve the quality of your life.
Do you feel like you are pouring from an empty cup? If so, please contact Life & Wellness at 704-564-0300 or visit our website at www.lifeandwellnesscounseling.com/ One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.