How many times do you find yourself suggesting to a partner, co-worker, friend, or anyone in general that “You need to do something nice for yourself, it’s important.”
Yet, when reflecting on your own self-rewarding or self-care behaviors, you realize that this is an area of your life that lacks focus and attention.
It is quite common to sometimes feel guilty about focusing on our own emotional, physical, or mental health well being-or splurging on ourselves; whether that “splurge” is related to time alone or with friends, money-an unneeded purchase, or pampering with a massage, manicure, pedicure, facial, etc. For some reason, we often feel as though it is not imperative or necessary to engage in self-love/self-care related strategies, events, activities, or experiences.
In sessions with my clients, I often use the airplane analogy to outline the importance of self-care—Flight attendants remind passengers to place the oxygen on themselves first if there is any type an emergency. The reasoning is quite obvious; if you are not breathing and/or lose consciousness, then you are incapable of assisting others. It is not selfish..it is necessary and crucial for survival.
This is a comparable model to the importance of self-care and overall balance and wellness.
So.. What if we reconstruct some of the thoughts surrounding the guilt that we often have in order to prove to ourselves that engaging in non-destructive, enriching, rewarding activities will actually help us to be better parents? Better workers? Better friends? Better partners? Hopefully we can attempt to view self-care and self-rewards while using a new perspective.
Self-love is not about entitlement or feeling s though we are better than others, and it certainly not a psychological condition in which we are obsessed with ourselves. It does not indicate that we are selfish or self-absorbed.
Self-love or acknowledging positive self-worth helps us understand that deserve as much love and affection as anyone else.
Take a moment to self reflect on your own self-care;
• Do you feel bad/guilty about taking time for yourself?
• Do you sometimes feels as though you need permission or validation to make your own self-care a priority?
• Could you use a personal day to dedicate to whatever you want to do?
• Are your schedules packed with so many obligations and “should’s or have to’s” that you often neglect certain things you used to thoroughly enjoy?
• When was the last time you planned something that you really enjoy or want to do?
Well…go ahead and put that oxygen mask on…
..in the meantime, I’m off to the nail salon.