Self Care Isn't Selfish
By Denise Belgrave, Registered Psychotherapist (Qual)
I believe we have all heard or used the term self-care but what does it really mean? Is it all about recognizing that every person needs to take responsibility for their own well-being or is it all about preventing burnout?
It is my belief that self-care is multi-faceted and caters to your personal self, your professional self, your cultural beliefs, and values. I suggest self-care signifies caring for myself in the many life roles I undertake in my daily life with compassion, and by accepting myself for who I am while being flexible. It is also about purposefully taking time to create a positive mindset that is optimistic, non-judgmental, and non-critical about myself and others.
Self-care requires individuals to identify and be aware of their social, emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual needs as applicable. Practicing self-care could mean making oneself a priority by putting individual needs first. Attributes such as kindness, compassion, and being gentle help with being positive. Hard decisions are however required sometimes and saying “no” may be necessary to establish and maintain boundaries which assist in maintaining well-being. This may include having difficult conversations with partners, family, friends, children or co-workers. Being bold and brave by setting healthy boundaries.
Having a healthy relationship with oneself can also include the many roles we undertake in our daily lives and the responsibilities we carry. It can feel like a juggling act which can lead to burnout. A question I ask myself is, “How can I find Balance while staying connected to my true self?” One way is by practicing compassion and being flexible both to myself and others.
Self-care is not only about outward actions such as going to the spa or playing golf. It is about looking within ourselves, listening to our thoughts and internal dialogues, and determining what we are thinking about ourselves and others. It may help to ask:
What are our values and beliefs?
Are they working for or against us?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to self-care as every one of us has our individual needs and preferences which will reflect our cultural background, belief systems, and life situations.
Self-care could be anything that brings us comfort, the feeling of relaxation, and
accomplishment in doing something that makes us feel good and valued while practicing compassion and keeping a clear mind.
If you are interested in learning more about how Psychotherapy can help, reach out and book a FREE 15 minute Meet & Greet Call with Denise. Click here to book now or give the office a call at 905-845-7668 (ROOT).