As the school year comes to the close and we look to the summer months ahead, we urge you to take a few minutes to reflect on the importance of taking time to prioritize yourself. Family, work, school, social demands, volunteering – the constant role conflicts leave many torn in multiple directions. Your self-esteem and sense of competency ultimately suffers as you realize that you are unfulfilled, stretched thin, and unable to please everyone anyway. Sacrificing your own needs for those around you is not the answer. Take the time to consider the risks associated with self-sacrifice and the importance of self-care. You will thank yourself later…
a. Going to yoga
b. Taking a warm, scented bath
c. Scheduling “me” time
d. All of the above
e. Something else
The answer is d - all of the above AND e - something else. Self-care has become such a mainstream idea that it’s in danger of becoming a cliché. Yes, taking care of ourselves is important. Getting a massage, spending time in a hobby and squeezing in a trip to the gym can all be part of our care plan. But self-care is much more than that.
Why is there so much attention being directed to self-care anyway? According to a 2010 survey by the American Psychological Association, there seems to be a consensus that we’re experiencing burnout and stress at increasingly higher rates. Chronic stress has been an issue in America for more than a decade, and it is escalating at an alarming rate since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prolonged stress leads to burnout and other poor physical and mental health outcomes. Hence the increasing visibility and emphasis placed on self-care.
e. Something else
One definition of care is to “look after and provide for the needs of” and that’s the true spirit of self-care. It's moving away from a list of activities and towards a practice of self-parenting and nurturing yourself emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually.
In other words, treating yourself as you would someone else that you love.
Be realistic about the expectations that you set for yourself and accept your limitations.
Forgive yourself when you make a mistake or when you disappoint yourself.
Review and give yourself credit for what you’ve already achieved.
Protect yourself from harmful relationships and environments.
Don’t speak negatively about yourself or look for faults.
Rigorously and continuously defend your boundaries.
Stand up for yourself and have your own back.
Encourage yourself when you need it.
Appreciate your talents and strengths.
Don’t take yourself for granted.
Validate your feelings.
Nourish your body.
And of course, go to yoga, take a long hike, read a book and spend some time just daydreaming.
Do you need help finding ways to take care of yourself? Having difficulty setting boundaries? Taking on too much? We can help. Contact Konick & Associates at 630.206.4060 to schedule a consultation with one of our counselors.