Self care...what’s that, then? Is it being self-centred and careless of others? Some might say so; after all, we are generally conditioned always to think of others before ourselves and of course there are times when this is a right and generous thing to do.
BUT, if we’re always putting others first and neglecting ourselves, a time will come when we become ill, feel angry and resentful or are simply too tired to function. And almost certainly along the way we will have lost any sense of who we truly are.
Practising self-care should help to avert such crises without meaning that you never offer a helping hand again. What self-care means exactly varies from person to person but, broadly, it’s doing something to look after yourself and/or to bring you joy and this means knowing what you need; you have to learn to listen to your inner voice. Counsellors are taught to take self care very seriously because, if they aren’t on form, they can’t help those who come to them in need. To put this into perspective, you could look at this as a parallel with the safety instructions you’re given before take-off on a flight; if the oxygen masks drop, adults are told to put their own masks on before helping children to do so. Why? Same reason; the adult needs to be functioning properly in order to be able to help the child.
Conclusion? Self care is actually another way we can be of good service to others. Happily, it involves being good to ourselves along the way!
Do you need to take better care of yourself by sharing something on your mind? Arrange an initial appointment with a counsellor. You have nothing to lose.
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Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
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