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Is Self-care Selfish?

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Self-care is a phrase that has been more in the media since the start of the pandemic. It’s emotive as it means different things to different people. I think it’s fair to say that during this time we will have been aware of what self-care can mean to us and many of us – me included, have struggled with it.

Self-care is an integral part of my business. I believe passionately in giving people tools and techniques to help themselves. When we take the lead in being responsible for our own emotional and physical welfare, we become more empowered and focused to change.

Let’s use an example to illustrate what I mean:

All vehicles when they reach their 3rd year must by law have an MOT to check they are roadworthy. I.e so they don’t have a defect that increases the chance of an accident - say the brakes failing. Anything found on the test has to be fixed before it can be deemed safe for use again. We also have to insure them in the event of an accident for repairs to our vehicle, other vehicles involved in accident, property and, worst case scenario, people. Being a driver there is a lot to plan for, invest in - it’s an ongoing commitment.

All vehicles including new cars need regular checks - tyre pressure, water and oil levels. Keeping them clean enhances our ongoing comfort too when using them - well I would say most folk. Some people are so obsessed with theirs that they spend hours cleaning and polishing it and would hate to see a scratch on it therefore it has a very special place of care in their life. My old girl is like me has a few scratches and is prone to the odd hot flush as her air con can be temperamental but she has been a loyal friend and hard worker over the years!

If we commit all that energy into looking after our vehicles why don’t we put the same effort into looking after ourselves, I.e. our self-care?

Yes I know there isn’t the same legal obligation for us to look after our well-being but there is an emotional responsibility to those close to us and more importantly to ourselves. If we carry on and keep pushing through or being lethargic, then that’s when illness, low mood, frustration, fatigue is much more likely. Now I’m not saying we can prevent all illnesses but if we have “good reserves” in terms of fitness, immune system for example we are better placed to deal with what comes our way. Burnout, stress, anxiety, physical exhaustion are all in most cases preventable but it takes effort to get these reserves in place and develop the mindset to go with it.

What’s the importance of doing this?

  • Remind yourself this is time to switch off from work, home life pressures so that you can get a break. By getting a break from the focus and concentration you are able to change your body chemistry which will reduce stress hormones and aim to bring your internal systems back into balance.

How can we start to do this?

  • Everyday make a commitment to yourself to do something for you and allocate the time.

  • Stick it in your diary, set an alarm on your phone or Fitbit. I know so often we will chase the clock but if we take this valuable time now it’s the equivalent of our car maintenance for oil, tyres, water levels.

What can we do?

  • Switch your phone to mute. So many of us are programmed to respond immediately to them.

  • If you’ve been sitting at a computer for a while get up and move. Aim to move around within each hour.

  • If you can get outside for fresh air, a seat or a walk for 15/20 minutes it will boost your feel good hormones.

  • If you do Yoga or Pilates do some stretches from it or any others? For me I know even if I did just 15 minutes of Callanetics I would feel a benefit and so would my midriff!

  • Keep hydrated with water. Doesn’t have to be cold. Pouring a mug of hot water to sip alongside your coffee or tea is a good way of boosting this.

These are just a snapshot of ideas which I will talking about in future posts and blogs.

A wee action point!

Write down a couple of ideas NOW for you to do for your self-care. Keep them visible so they remind you.

As a hypnotherapist, with most clients I teach them how to do Self Hypnosis as part of their sessions with me. This is a key tool in your self-care tool box on time out for relaxation and restoration. It also creates an ideal space to focus on your goals and aims.

If you find it hard to “clear your mind” or “let your mind go blank”- which I can’t do, this is a technique that doesn’t require that. I use it on a regular basis and during lockdowns found it especially useful to enable me to cope with all the life changes.

If you would like to find out how Clinical Hypnotherapy could benefit you in your self-care please visit my Page. I would love to have a chat with you about what I can offer to help – see Contact Page for details.

Going back to my initial question of, is Self-Care Selfish? I hope you will now be in agreement with me that the answer is a definite NO! It is vital for life if we want to avoid burnout, stress, anxiety, shift lethargy or at least be in a better position to reverse the effects of it.

Like our cars, if we want to be roadworthy, reliable, and able to change direction when needed, then we also need the regular care and maintenance.

Thanks for reading…..Fiona.

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Kenny Laing
Kenny Laing
Jan 19, 2022

Does beer count as hydratio?

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