The most common and usual advice we give or listen to from others is “take some time for yourself,” “take care of yourself,” “do something for yourself.” And yet, even though we hear them so often and we all know that self-care is necessary to be well, we never put it into practice.
But what is it that prevents us from first identifying our needs and then satisfying them?
It is common for many of us to feel guilty every time we decide to care for ourselves. We think that having time for ourselves means we should take away from the time we devote to work, parents, partner, children, home, etc. Others are more important than ourselves, which is why we feel we do not deserve to be concerned about ourselves.
There are not a few cases where we have forgotten our needs because of our chronic devotion to essential others. Besides basic needs (food, sleep), each of us has some special needs, which may concern rest, personal care, self-expression, physical and mental well-being, fun, etc.
Moreover, the most common phenomenon that prevents us from taking care of ourselves is to place whatever urgent arises “above” the time we may have planned for us. Maybe we are invited to dinner, or a friend calls us to discuss her problem, a colleague who had to leave earlier is begging us to stay in her place. Due to related daily events, we postpone the time to take care of ourselves because “self-care can wait” or “nothing happened if we make it a day/ week/ month later”!
And yet, the limits of our strength may be great and our mental reserves enormous, but at some point, they end and, how can we give from an “empty cup”? It is our obligation, so we need to see it, provide first of all time to us, start saying “yes” to ourselves and our needs, after remembering them by looking back at the last moments where we were more carefree and happy. Let’s schedule our own time in our calendar, determine the day and time we deal with ourselves and commit to doing so, like all other obligations recorded in it. Let it become our priority, to offer love and time to a precious person, to ourselves!