The most important relationship you have in your life is your relationship with yourself. This relationship builds the foundation for all other relationships you will have in life. If you don’t bother giving yourself the care you need, how can you expect someone else to either. Have you sat back and reflected on how you really treat yourself? Do you speak negatively to yourself or beat yourself up when you make the simplest mistake? Are you continuously comparing yourself to others and placing a lower value on your needs that everyone else’s? Do you feel exhausted and struggling with life? If I were to ask you – when was the last time you looked after yourself and gave yourself the same care you gave others – what would your answer be?
So many are unaware of the signs when they need to stop and look after themselves. There’s this belief that we need to keep going at all times and everything must be perfect. We end up feeling like a failure if we don’t achieve the high standards of perfection we have set for ourselves. We judge ourselves for being tired and wanting a break and compare ourselves to someone down to the road who on the exterior, appears to be like Superwoman/man and is able to juggle and manage everything life seems to throw at them.
When the battery on your mobile phone is dying – you plug it in and give the phone time to recharge. So why don’t we do the same for ourselves, just like technology we need to recharge our own batteries. Most of us grew up in a society where self-care was seen as being selfish. Anyone who praised or looked after themselves were seen as almost being different from everyone else. We have been conditioned from childhood to always put the needs of others first and this lives on with us throughout our lives. Trying to introduce self-care and time for ourselves can cause immense guilt, especially if you are a career to kids or elderly folk. But the ironic thing it is when you are doing things like caring for others is when you really need to take the time to look after yourself. Not looking after your needs can cause stress and anxiety, which can lead to burnout and pure exhaustion. Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup.
We say we work so hard because we want to give our children the things we never had. But is being over worked, stressed and burnt out the right message to be passing on to our children and in the long run, how does that affect them. Self-care doesn’t have to mean indulging in a spa (which of course would be fabulous), but taking time out to do things that help you relax and turn off from the busy world we live in. If any of this has resonated with you, I encourage you to start looking after your relationship with yourself and give yourself the care that you need and deserve by following some of the tips below.
- Take time to exercise
- Learn how to say ‘No’
- Stop being so hard on yourself
- Stop speaking negatively about yourself
- Let go of what you can’t control
- Listen to your body and learn how to understand the signs and signals that you need to look after yourself
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help