Something I help people with a lot, is learning to love themselves. We aren’t always taught how to do this, but this is a vital skill for life!
When self-care comes up with my clients, which is a lot, the most common response I hear is ‘but isn’t that selfish?’ This belief seems to have been conditioned into us and it stops people allowing themselves time to take care of themselves and I am on a mission to change this.
As you can imagine, my answer is ALWAYS NO! And here is why…
There is a common misconception that putting others first even at the detriment of ourselves is a virtue, but all it does is makes people unwell, sad, stressed, sometimes resentful, it further teachers us that we don’t matter, that this is our role in life, to be there for others, but ignore our own needs.
I have been there and done it, as have many of my clients, and if I am not careful it is something I can easily fall back into doing. But the thing is, it doesn’t work, it leads to burnout, to unhappiness, to feeling drained, tried and withdrawing from life and neglecting ourselves. I am not saying don’t care about others, far from it, I am saying our needs have to come first.
If we don’t take good care of ourselves:
- How can we be happy, truly happy?
- How can we live life fully?
- How can we be there for everyone else?
When we meet our own needs first and we are feeling happy, fulfilled, content and energised, then we can do all of those things we want to do for others, but we do it from a place of love, not a place of duty which can turn into resentment.
This is such a big part of my work and I often hear people tell me that they don’t know what self-care even means or looks like. Self-care may look different to us all, but for me it is a healthy mix of taking time out to rest, time to socialise and to do the things which make my heart sing, this may be taking a bubble bath, reading, watching TV or swimming in the sea, but it also involves taking action, for example, keeping my home clean and tidy, so I have a nice environment to be in, it involves taking action to achieve my goals, it involves also asking for help when I need it, because we all need support sometimes.
Giving to others brings us joy, it makes us happy, but we need to give to ourselves first. I couldn’t be as effective at helping my clients to be happier and achieve their goals, if I was not taking the time to look after me too, I know this works, because I do it for myself and I see it in my clients, you can read some examples here.
Because I look after me, I have the energy to help others more! I even volunteer at various things in my spare time, so self-care isn’t selfish, it is essential and it actually means you can give more!
Are you convinced yet? What can you start doing today for you?
As always, please do get in touch with any comments or questions I love to hear from you, or if you would like to see how coaching could support you or you or young person to live a happier more fulfilled life do book your free discovery call.
Until next time,