Self Care as a Gift

  1. First, allow yourself to see the value of your own self-care of investing in your own wellbeing. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or you’re not going to second guess yourself or encounter resistance from others. It just means that you acknowledged that prioritizing your wellbeing makes logical sense and you adopt a willingness to move in that direction.
  2. Second, begin to put it into practice in small ways at first, such as carving out a consistent hour to rest, going for a walk/exercising, protecting 8 hours for sleeping, spending time with a supportive friend, doing something fun, spiritual or nurturing. Years ago, my first step was to buy myself some good quality shampoo. It sounds silly but it marked a shift. Nobody was harmed by my spending a few extra dollars on something just for me and it made me feel just a little more deserving of good care.
  3. Third, know and expect that you may feel uncomfortable, guilty or even scared but don’t let that stop you. That noise in your head may tell you that you’re being selfish, or no one will love you if you’re not tending to them or disaster will strike if you’re not in there fixing everything. Expect this and keep moving forward anyway.
  4. Fourth, allow those doubts and that discomfort to be there without judging them, without fueling, or feeding them. Remind yourself that this negative self-talk is natural and expected but that it doesn’t necessarily represent the facts. For example: I know this feels strange or uncomfortable, why wouldn’t it — it’s new. I also know that this might really help me feel better and even be more patient (present, less anxious, etc) with more to give.
  5. And then you just keep doing it. It can take time to feel the difference. As your self-care improves it creates a foundation for better emotional health. Little by little you’ll begin to experience the value.
  6. Consider working with a therapist. It helps to have someone to support you in this, remind you that you are on the right track and help you understand any fears you may have around this work. A therapist can hold this space for you, give you permission to value yourself and remind you that your health and well being serves, not only you, but everyone in your life who matters to you.

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