Self-Care - Part 3
Written by Sue Fuller-Good (MSc Physio WITS) Physiotherapist with a special interest in the mind-body connection
Over the past 2 weeks, we’ve been looking at the crucial subject of real self-care, together. Take a moment to dash back and read Part 01 and Part 02 of these articles if you have missed them. Here goes with part 3 of the trilogy:
Oftentimes we take on more than we should. The need to impress, dominate or please people gets behind the steering wheel of life. It’s the ego self, trying to amplify your self-worth and status in the world. Or the ego-self trying to gain you approval and inclusion - being liked and admired, or the ego-self keeping the peace and avoiding conflict. We all fall victim to this at times. These are human behaviours and human struggles, but you can’t allow them to dominate your world and life.
Give yourself permission to begin anew each day, with awareness. Even if you just take a baby step towards taking on less, it will help. So don’t try to do a 180 degree turn around. Just shift a degree or two and build on that. You will never find the way to care properly for yourself if you keep drowning yourself in to do lists and overwhelming amounts to cope with.
The second critical thing for this week, is to recognize that creating and staying part of a well-developed community of care is integral to your self-care. You aren’t an island as you well know and you have to rely on your community to thrive.
When you have enough support from your community and life, then you can develop a self-care rhythm that adds harmony to the music (that we talked about last week), that the balance in your life, is creating. You will have time to do the things that bring you restoration and joy. This requires asking for help. It requires accepting help when it is offered. It requires paying help received, forward, and trusting that it all goes around and comes around in the wonderful world we live in.
When you feel supported, you will feel able to give generously and that will bring you joy and energy all on its own. Being part of a caring, sharing community is one of the things that has in many ways gone missing in our insular lives in the 21st century. Bringing to front of mind, the concept of being in the community, is such a critical aspect of thriving in these difficult times. Letting people be close and depending on them is integral to thriving. Remember to seek the sweet spot between giving and receiving. If it was on a continuum, with giving on one side and receiving on the other, it’s the middle spot you need to try to find.
Not too much giving and not too much receiving - just the middle spot. Put selfish and unselfish on that same continuum and you will find that sweet spot too, not too much, not too little. The same with generous and stingy, it’s always the magical middle spot that you need to seek out.
I wish you the courage to take care of you, and to do it deliberately and effectively. You deserve it and you can’t leave yourself unsupported in the world. It simply isn’t fair and it won’t work in the long term.