• Danielle Turner LCSW

Selfishness never

One of the most important lessons I learned during this pandemic is that self-care is not selfish. We were told to stay 6 feet apart, wear our mask, stay inside, limited physical interaction and do our part to keep others as well as ourselves safe from COVID-19. But in the mist of being thrown into taking care of other’s, becoming homeschool teachers, in-house doctors and work from home employees, we may have forgotten to take care of ourselves. How can I take on the role of teacher, mother, father, doctor, employee, significant other, etc. without taking care of myself in the process? Easy…you just don’t. But how can we care for others without being ok ourselves? We can’t. It is almost as if during this pandemic everyone began to feel that self-care is selfish. Selfishness is doing something with the intention to harm others with an underlying intent of negativity. Selfishness is being intentional about taking something from someone else. On the other hand, self-care is about refueling your own resources, not taking them from someone else. Self-care is about refilling yourself to be able to care for others and to continue to care for self. Self-care is something that you are in control of. You set the tone for your self-care, you set the parameters for your self-care and you determine how much and how often you engage in self-care. We often can feel that investing in ourselves takes away from our ability to do what we need for others. Wouldn’t it be great to have joy in knowing that taking care of ourselves ensures we can take care of others? At the end of the day self-care is really about setting boundaries, setting priorities and finding purpose in what makes you happy and refuels your soul. Self-care can be anything from exercise to keeping ourselves emotionally safe, to setting boundaries, to not allowing others to take our peace. It can be mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. Self-care can be done at any time and any place. The best time of day where you are most productive and have the most energy may be the best time to engage in self-care. Take those one to two hours a day when you are at your best to incorporate self-care. Learning what works for you, gives you purpose and give you joy is important to your self-care. Most importantly recognizing that self-care is not selfish and putting yourself first is a priority is a must. Self-care does not mean you cannot care for others rather it means that you have the resources within yourself to be able to care for others. You cannot pour from an empty cup...let me say that again…YOU CAN NOT POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP. What does that means literally what it says. When you have a cup if there is no liquor in the cup there is nothing to pour out of it. The same with our mental, emotional, physically and spiritual wellbeing. If we have nothing in those areas of our well-being, we can not give to someone else. How do we keep our cups full?

1. Make yourself a priority

2. Find things that bring you joy and purpose

3. Do those things that you enjoy

4. Set aside time for yourself

5. Find your inner peace and protect it

6. Love on yourself

7. Use daily affirmations and/or mantras

8. Get help from a professional

9. Start the healing process

10. Have fun

Self-care can be a challenge especially when it is something that you have not been doing or feel guilty about but it is necessary. Start off doing something you enjoy for a 5 to 10 minutes a day and be consistent. Soon you will be on your way to an amazing self-care journey without guilty or feelings of selfishness. As always stay safe, stay well and take care of you. Until next time. – Danielle

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