Article by Chloe Brotheridge – rethink mental illness
Maybe you’re not the bubble bath type (I for one, get bored after about 10 minutes!) Maybe you hate being touched by a stranger and so a massage is a definite no-no. Maybe you’re wondering who has the time (or the money?!) for all that.
But ‘self-care’ is important. Super important! Whether you have a mental health issue or you’re caring for someone who does – it needs to be a priority for all of us. Here are three important reasons why.
Firstly, when you take care of yourself, you send yourself (and your nervous system) a message of safety. The problem with modern life is that it doesn’t make us feel that safe. Our poor nerves get a hammering.
Trump’s Twitter feed getting scarier by the day.
Emails arrive with a ping 24/7.
That extra pile of work that lands on your desk at 4:45pm on a Friday.
The constant implication from your Instagram that your life is boring and you need a new wardrobe (and a possibly a new arse).
It’s decidedly more ‘fight or flight’ than ‘rest and digest’.
But when we do something to take care of ourselves.
We’re sending ourselves a message of safety and security. And that is ONLY a good thing in an age of anxiety.
Secondly, self-care sends you the very important message that you are a worthy and valuable person, worthy of being taken care of!
Self-worth is nearly ALWAYS linked to anxiety, so anything you can do to bolster the ol’ self-worth is vital.
With self-worth, you feel stronger, more capable, more able to handle whatever the future brings. You’re less likely to beat yourself up and you handle setbacks more easily because you feel good about yourself as a person.
Thirdly, self-care is especially important if you’re looking after others. Whether you’re a parent or a carer – you can’t pour from an empty cup, so it’s vital to fill yourself up first. If you’re depleted, not only will you feel rubbish, but you won’t be in a good position to help anyone else either.
A side note: The root of WHY we don’t do the things we KNOW will help us is that sometimes, we don’t feel we deserve it. But trust me, if you KNEW yourself to be the precious, one-of-a-kind-miracle-of-human-life that you are, you’d treat yourself like GOLD all day, ‘ery damn day.
The more you take care of yourself the easier it gets because you start to feel more and more that you’re worthy of being taken care of.
Answer these questions to give yourself some ideas: (Come on: Don’t just read through, make some notes and take some action!)
What plans can you put in place to make this happen? What action can you take RIGHT NOW?
oh..BTW! It’s not selfish.
A calm and happy you radiates good feeling to everyone you meet. We all know smiles are contagious, well so is stress. Don’t be a martyr. Being a stressed out Mum, employee, business owner, carer or friend because you think it’s selfish to take care of yourself isn’t helping anyone, especially not you. If you’re taking care of yourself, other people will benefit. The bus conductor that you’re able to be friendly to because you’re feeling happier and more centered, your colleague who you can support because you’re the calm and clear-headed one, your partner that you’re able to truly appreciate because you’ve slowed down enough to see the little things that they do for you. Peace starts with you, and it’s contagious.
PS: If you’re telling yourself ‘I don’t have time to take care of myself’, ask yourself; ‘Do you have time to feel bad?’.