Self-care: Are you enjoying the journey?
As I was scrolling through my social media the other day a quote someone had posted really spoke to me. It was, "never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life".
As human beings we love to have purpose and direction. It has been discovered by many behaviourists that we are driven to work and to better ourselves. I believe that it is a really good thing to unleash our capability and explore our limits, but unfortunately if we don't learn to put in appropriate boundaries it can also become what destroys us as people. We live in a society that constantly promotes 'the pot at the end of the rainbow' theory; the belief that if we work really hard and earn lots of money and possessions then we will at last be free and happy in the future. Again it is great to be able to have goals and dreams but sometimes we can get so caught up in an idea that we forget to notice what we have in our current lives.
Part of how we can notice our present more is by looking after ourselves better. This could be through establishing healthier work boundaries i.e turning your laptop off at a certain time or learning to say no when your really tired and need a break. A learning curve for me has been being intentional about not working at the weekend, and fencing this off as my time which can still be a challenge! Being intentional could be doing something you enjoy, having a cup of tea and reading a magazine, going on a date night with a partner or friend, or just giving yourself space to just 'be' instead of needing to 'do'. Often people say 'but I haven't got time' or 'other people need me'. What I would suggest is that we need to learn to be intentional about looking after ourselves.
When we are children one of the biggest lessons parents teach us is to look after ourselves.This usually takes the form of cleaning our teeth and tying our shoe laces but it is also about boundaries and learning to listen to our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical needs. It may be that as an adult you struggle to direct and create your own boundaries and this leaves you feeling moth eaten and tired. Change is always possible, you can start small and it is amazing how changing the small things impacts our overall well-being.
Counselling can really help us understand how to take better care of ourselves and lead a more fulfilling present and future. Counselling is also a very caring thing to do for yourself, people don't always feel worthy of that time and money however I would say that you are worth it!
Remember - giving yourself time is not selfish it is self-care.
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About Anna Honeysett
I am a BACP member working in private practice in Ashford and Faversham. I am experienced and work with a vast range of issues. I have recently run a emotional eating course and an anger management course which have both been successful. I love working with people and seeing them come into freedom through counselling.