Self-Care is Important! Are You Self-Full?

Self-care is Important! Are you Self-full?

Who is looking after you?

There is a lot of talk about self-care, however, do we really understand the concept? Many people think going to the gym or an art class, having coffee with friends or just participating in an enjoyable activity denotes a self-care attitude or behaviour.

The language in regard to self-care has evolved over time. In the past, ‘self-full’ was used to describe someone who is full of themselves, hence a selfish and inconsiderate person who may be boastful. However, in modern times the term ‘self-full’ has evolved and now describes a person who takes the time to focus on themselves and puts energy into their own wellness!

People who look after their needs before those of others are often called selfish, however in the modern busy world looking after self or practicing ‘self-care’ is extremely important. Good self-care provides us with positive physical and mental health and also ensures that the spiritual side of us is also well maintained. These together provide a healthy balance so that we can have the energy to enjoy family and friends and also to provide care to those who need us such as children, elderly parents or being available to our friends who may be going through a difficult time and require our support. Self-care denotes being self-full!

It is not always easy to take this time away from our daily demands and often we may feel guilty or worry about being perceived as selfish. Just think of your own life, how much time do you dedicate to yourself, to sit and review your day, to ask yourself “How am I feeling, am I stressed?” I am going to bet, most people do not sit in contemplation and take the time to know themselves, to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings. In fact, most people operate on automatic pilot! The psychological consequences of the lack of self-care can manifest as physical illness, burnout, anger, depression, and anxiety and in some cases can lead to a total mental breakdown! We cannot drive a car with an empty tank!

We all deserve self-care and nurturing. This in turn makes us healthy, energised, and strong and therefore having the energy to physically and mentally care for others without sacrifice.

While writing this I contemplate the stories I hear from my clients, males, and females alike! However, the working mothers’ experience is the one that sticks out the most in regard to total lack of self-care. In general, this is how their Mondays to Fridays go.

Wake up before the children, have a shower, get dressed, make the lunches, prepare breakfast, wake the children, argue with the children to get dressed and eat breakfast, run out the door to get the children to school on time and then get themselves to work.

Lunchtime at work – pay the bills, make any appointments necessary for the children, pick up supplies that may have run out at home, Oh! and eat lunch if they remember or have any time left.

Afterwork – pick up the children from afterschool/daycare, get home, get children out of school uniforms, begin meal prep while also helping children with homework, breaking up arguments with children and probably has a load of washing on the go!

The mother is totally relieved when her partner arrives home to take some of the load!

The family has dinner, while one parent washes the dishes, the other washes the children, reads bedtime stories and finally, the children are off to sleep. It’s probably around 8pm now, the washing is hung out and the couple can finally sit down and relax, however they are both so tired there is very little conversation, and the television is where they lose themselves. Off to be by 10pm as up at 5 to start all over again!

Whew! sounds tough, doesn’t it? I was exhausted just writing this!

This scenario you must remember is on repeat for years!

No self-care here!

While this is just one version of the story, I ask you to contemplate your story! These issues impact the majority of people regardless of being single, a student, a parent, a carer, a support person or someone who invests too much time at work. Are you stuck on repeat???

So how can you care for yourself better? To become self-full and in turn feel happy, energised and well balanced, I offer some tips that you might try and explore for yourself!

  • Having time alone
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Being out in nature
  • Grounding
  • Good sleep
  • Exercise
  • Walking
  • Healthy Food
  • Rest
  • Reading
  • Forgiveness
  • Boundaries
  • Self Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Positive Communication
  • Asking for help

If you struggle with finding self-care and a well-balanced mind and body, the caring and compassionate Clinicians at Mind Up are happy to help you achieve wellness!