Saturday, September 22, 2007

Inside Out Series ~ What about Self-Care?

I wanted to apologized for the delay in getting this next post out. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!

Self-Care is one of my favorite topics to talk about. Most of our self-care habits are developed generally as a result of beliefs passed onto us and behaviors learned.

Let's define what self-care is. It is often that I come across people (women especially) who consider self-care OR focusing on one's self to be selfish in the most negative of aspects. I consider self-care to be love of one's self and of others. Love is a generous, abundant and a positive feeling. When you love someone or something you want it have the best of care. So, why is it so hard for us to give the best of care to ourselves?

It's amazing how many of us hold a general belief system that we must put others first and ourselves last. If you really stop a moment and think about that you will realize that thinking pattern is completely backwards - it doesn't even make sense. Take a car for example.... what happens if you forget to fill it up with gas? It runs out! When it runs out, is it helpful to us? NO - we are not able to get where we need to go. If we keep our gas tanks full, the places we can go are limitless.

Same with our self-care. Most of us approach the idea of putting others first with the right heart, but go about it the wrong way. Consider this: If you are not filling up first, how helpful to others are you REALLY able to be? If you are running on zero and you are trying to give from empty - what are you giving? Stress, depleted energy, resentment, anger, irritation, obligation etc. Now imagine this: You are overflowing with energy, love, gratitude, excitement etc. - now you have an abundance to give and you are able to give more. Does that make sense?

What does self-care really involve?

First of all, self-care is a mindset. It is valuing yourself mind, body and spirit. It is BELIEVING that you deserve the care that you are able to give yourself and being open to receiving that care.

What care do you give to the development to your mind?
What belief do you hold about learning new things? "I'm too old OR I am a lifetime learner."
How do you stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone?
How often do you challenge your way of thinking?
How open are you to trying new things?
How many books do you read?

What kind of food do you fuel your body with? Is your fuel healthy?
How consistent are you with keeping all systems running efficiently with exercise?
What types of things do you do just for you?
When is the last time you relaxed and did nothing?
What type of bodycare products do you use? Do they smell good and make you feel good? Are they good for you (healthy)?

When is the last time you had fun?
When is the last time you laughed? Cried?
What is your creative outlet? If you do not have one, why do you suppose that is?
How does your true personality shine through?
How do you express yourself?

  • What do you believe about yourself to be true that has a direct influence on any of the above aspects of self-care?
  • How is this belief helping/hurting you?
  • If how you take care of yourself were the instructions for how others treated you, how have you been telling others to treat you?
  • What needs to change? How willing are you to make those changes?

Another interesting aspect to consider if you are parents: What message is your self-care or lack of self-care sending your children? Remember, children do as we do - not as we say!

I am so looking forward to your insights and thoughts around this subject....

Until next time...


Barbara said...


This is Barbara from First Friday. I enjoyed reading your article about self care and how important it is to take time for yourself. You also need to love yourself before you can love others. Also, you bought up a good point about the kind of message that you are teaching your child, if you do not have time to take care of yourself. Children learn from the best--me. You need to send out the right message and not the wrong message when it comes to self care.

God Bless,

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Jenn said...

Self-care is so important. My self-care includes meditation, quiet time by myself and exercise. I find that when I don't take care of myself, I burn out really fast.

The great thing is, it doesn't have to take hours to care for yourself. You can carve out 10 minutes to just sit and clear your mind on those really busy days.