Self-Care – why it’s so important

I read an interesting article this morning and I thought I would pick out the interesting bits to share with you. The original article was aimed at therapists who work with clients who have experienced significant trauma. It was extolling the virtues of self-care for the therapists. I can see how the explanation could be relevant for so many people, so this is my take. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

We know that self-care is talked about a lot, we are encouraged to look after ourselves, take time out, and have some ‘me time’. It feels indulgent, maybe even a waste of money, however, what follows may change your mind.

In order for me to function at a high level for my family and work, I need a support package, a support framework in order to operate at those high standards, this translates as my ‘me time’.

It is no accident that many of the self care experiences we enjoy most, are things that link us to childhood experiences of nurturing – such as hugs, massage and being read to (and in my case chatting to a trusted person).

So we have to take action, we can’t ‘think’ ourselves into better self care, it’s about taking action. These actions support the healthy function of the lower parts of the brain. A lot of self care does not involve words it is something we ‘experience’ and these experiences are usually body based and help us to feel safe and well and support our brains and body experience regulation. (control, management)

If our brain and body feel regulated, we feel calm and vice versa. Being able to stay calm through the use of regular self-care enables us to think more clearly and deal with all that life throws at us and in my case deal with the people I encounter in my business and life.

A one off experience is not going to cut it, in order to build strong habits of self care and therefore a stronger brain (with strong neural connections) we need repetition (this is the same for all activities). A one off class or treatment is lovely, however, it won’t make a significant difference to our wellbeing, we need lots of practice!

Someone else may recommend a course of action, a type of therapy, a class. You are unique and have unique needs for your self care blend or package. My ‘package’ consists of a monthly massage, a monthly reiki session, twice a week fitness class, regular meet ups with like minded business owners, regular bubble baths, regular craft workshops, yoga sessions and hugging my children. Yours may well be zumba, reading, shopping and meditation!

I feel a seasonal snowflake analogy coming up! Like snowflakes we are unique, vary in size but are all beautiful. So do yourself the best favour ever, you owe your body, brain and ability to feel calm to your self-care.

Self-care enables me to do the job I love and take care of the family I love. It doesn’t bear thinking about where we would be without it.

Take care
Juliet x

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6 thoughts on “Self-Care – why it’s so important

  1. Good advice, Juliet. I do take time out tho’ I ‘know’ I need to take more ‘me time’ it’s taken me a long time to accept to not feel guilty about it. As a self-employed Therapist & Event Organiser, it’s SO much easier to advocate for others than for yourself. However, the brain injury means I tire more easily than if I didn’t have it.

    Be great to meet up in town for a tea/coffee when you have the time 🙂

  2. Great read Juliet! 🙂

    For anyone who feels a tad guilty about puting themselves first every now and again, give this a thought …

    The safety instructions during the pre-flight demo instruct us to secure our own oxygen mask before attempting to secure anyone else’s (ie kids). Why? Because if we pass out first, we’re no help to those who are relying on us.

  3. A lovely article Juliet. I wonder sometimes whether women, whilst being the more nurturing of the sexes (I know I might be generalising a little here) are more prone to going without their self care in order to put others first.
    I know previously I have been guilty of this and ended up feeling burnt out and a little resentful.
    I love the fact that you have listed your self care package and I think I’m going to sit and do that now for me as I may be a little lacking in one or two things that I really do love.

    1. Thanks Anna, I find it is essential for me, otherwise I start to feel unwell. Look forward to reading your next blog.

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