For a helping profession like mine, it is so easy to get burned out. Dealing with other people’s problems day in and day out can be draining and stressful.
And so, I indulged with family this weekend in a get away. We thought three birthdays this month requires a celebration. And so, we decided to get out and splurge.
But let me get this straight. Selfcare is not self-indulgence, pampering, or splurging.
No, there is nothing wrong with self-pampering. Yes, you can get that pedicure, massage, or eat your favorite ice cream, and spend on other luxuries. But only when you can afford them.
Because when you spend money which you do not have, that is a big mistake.
When we avoid putting in effort to truly organize our lives and instead prefer for the quick and easy remedy, that is self-indulgence.
For instance, when after a day’s work we tell ourselves that we deserve a drink and lounge on the couch everytime we get spent out, thatis notthe best definition of selfcare.
Why? Because instead of fixing your issue, you might end up stressing yourself all the more.
So, what is selfcare? How do you practice it?
It simply means choosing behaviors that offset and neutralize the effects of emotional and physical stressors.
Underlying these behaviors is a mindset which believes that serving others only becomes effective if we are optimally functioning. It is understanding that loving our neighbors also necessitates loving ourselves.
Selfcare is forming habits which maintain our equilibrium and vigor. They are not esoteric practices, they are the simple things that we do such as exercising, sleeping well, eating healthy, and practicing relaxation techniques. Selfcare also includes getting engaged in creative works and getting involved in altruistic endeavors.
Part of selfcare is also self-soothing. It is the ability to calm and heal ourselves.
I remember when I was a child, it felt so good when someone rubs my back when I was crying or blows my scratch whenever I had one. Indeed, that is soothing.
Yet, there were also times when I just stayed in one corner, sobbing and nursing my pain alone, until I was able to embrace, understand, and heal my hurt. That is the act of self-soothing.
Every adult needs to learn this skill. And every adult should also learn to provide this to their children by not coming to their aid immediately when they are in distress. Let them self-soothe.
As adults, our own healing is our responsibility. It is wrong to always rely on spouse or partner to provide us with the balm to soothe our distress.
Yet, some people do not have a self to begin with, that is why it is very hard for them to do self-caring. For them, psychotherapy might help. Engaging in therapy is part of self-care.
So, excuse me for now. I need to get my massage and well-deserved sleep. After all, it is my birthday today.