Self-Care. We keep hearing about it these days.
Most of us would agree that if somebody has good self-care, and can look after themselves properly, they are more likely to be in a better position to work well, care for others, and be a useful member of society.
But do you ever really stop to think about how self-care might apply to you? Here’s a simple exercise you can try, that can boost your self-care and just takes a few moments.Do you ever really stop to think about how self-care might apply to you? Click To Tweet
Self-care Exploration (exercise)
First off, are you ‘allowed’ to really care well for yourself? Does your ‘inner parent’ encourage your attempts at self-care, or can you sense an inner tutting and disapproval?
What sort of quality does your inner parent have? Loving and kind? Or harsh and critical? (Most likely, a mixture of both).
Try seeing what it might be like to hold a loving, accepting, compassionate attitude towards yourself. Just for a few minutes, see if you can get quiet and still, and feel a warm gentle kindness in your chest area, around your heart.
Perhaps this feels like a relief? Does it make you want to cry? Sing with happiness? Or does it feel awkward and wrong somehow? Maybe you even start to feel angry or dismissive; or just blank and empty.
Any of these reactions is possible. Accept that this is how it feels, how you feel, today. Maybe it would be different on a different day. At any rate, you’ve now got some good information to start from.
If your self-compassion moment felt good, keep practising! Find frequent times when you can reconnect with that loving, accepting, compassionate part of you that can offer yourself care and support. Get really used to experiencing what self-care feels like for you; and then when things in life get really tough, you’ll have this inner well to draw upon.Getting to a place of greater inner warmth and acceptance is possible! #selfcare Click To Tweet
But what if your self-compassion moment felt bad or wrong in some way?Then I want you to know that getting to a place of greater inner warmth and acceptance is actually a good thing to aim for (even if it feels weird or wrong at the moment). And it is possible. I suggest that you look for books, videos or online resources on self-compassion (try Kristin Neff). I’ve also written a blog post on How to Love Yourself, which gives another exercise you can try.
Working with a psychotherapist or counsellor can also help you transform things for yourself (see my post on the benefits of therapy for more on this).
Self-compassion; and what else?
Self-compassion is an important part of self-care, but it’s not the whole story. I’ve created an infographic (see below) to fill in a few more pieces of the puzzle. Not every aspect of self-care has been included, but I’ve made a start. Enjoy!Try holding a loving, accepting, compassionate attitude towards yourself. Click To Tweet
If you’re a thoughtful, sensitive person who’s keen to improve your ability to offer self-care and self-compassion to yourself, you may like to try working with me in online therapy. You can read more here.
If you’re looking for a therapist in Essex, check out my post on The Beginner’s Guide to Finding a Good Therapist in Essex.
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