Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

Just like most of you I have always set some New Year’s resolutions.  You know, like lose weight, exercise, live healthy, make a ton of money, blah, blah, blah.  This year I’m trying something new.  I am making one, and only one resolution… to fix me.  I am broken, I am scarred, and I am afraid.  I think if we all look at ourselves we can mostly relate in one way or another.

One way I am going to fix me is that I started seeing a therapist.  I have literally seen her twice, and she is already making a huge difference in my life.  One of the biggest things she has already done is opened my eyes to the fact that I spend every ounce of time trying to make my kids happy, my husband happy, my parents happy, my friends and my customers and the strangers that walk by at work happy… but I never spend any time making me happy.  I care for everyone, but me.  Everyone else’s needs and interests come before mine.  Her words… “Ok, you do all this for everyone else, what do you do for you?  No one is going to take care of you.  You need to do it yourself.”

It sounded really harsh at first.  No one is going to take care of you.  My husband kind of took offense to this when I told him, but then as I explained how she elaborated on that he kind of understood.  When she said No one is going to take care of you, she used an example that made it a lot more understandable.  She said when the kids or the spouse is sick with the flu, or a stomach bug, I am there to take care of them, I am bringing them chicken soup, crackers and soda, cleaning up puke and other stuff, along with doing everything else.  What happens when I get sick?  Does anyone bring me chicken soup, or crackers and soda?  Does anyone clean up my puke or other stuff?  Probably not.

My therapist didn’t mean that no one cared enough to take care of me, she simply meant that I have to take care of me, so I can be there to take care of them.  When she asked me what I do for myself, and I gave her that blank stare, she said, “Ok… we’re going to come up with a plan.”

Self-care is something that I had heard of before, but never really paid much attention to it.  I didn’t have time to, ironically.  I have a friend who is a very successful Realtor who gets regular massages, and she is always so energetic and “with-it”.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit jealous.  I look at these people who do this kind of stuff for themselves, and I used to think it was a little selfish because they could have been using that money or that time to do stuff with the family.  I have always been afraid of being labeled as selfish.  I don’t like selfish people, and I was not going to become one… except maybe one needs to be a tad selfish in order to keep their sanity.

So my therapist gave me several ideas of things to try, and so far… I haven’t had the time or place to try it… bubble baths, meditation, even just quiet time to just do some stretches.  I have been thinking a lot about it lately, though I don’t believe that counts towards time spent for myself.  I have been glued to Pintrest lately looking at self-care postings trying to find ideas that I could possibly implement into my life, and I found a pin, one that I really like, and it speaks volumes to me in a short and simply put page, and then there’s another one I found that helps you create a Self-Care plan.

So the start of my New Year is all about fixing me.  You really should consider making it all about you.  As long as we don’t go overboard and take away from the rest of our life, I think that Self-Care may be just the jump start we all need for the rest of our resolutions, and the rest of our lives…