For most of us, taking care of others is a natural thing to do. It’s also very natural for those of us who are care-takers to do so at the expense of our own care-taking.

Sound familiar? Would this describe you?

I totally get it. Whether it’s someone near and dear to me, or someone I’ve never met before but who is in need, it’s my natural instinct to help and to give, in order to make things easier or better for someone else.

At the same time, to do anything that benefits only ourselves, we feel guilty and selfish about it.

Why?

Because, if we are doing something that benefits only ourselves, then we are not spending that time helping someone else. Or we’re not using the resources we’re using on ourselves to benefit someone else.

Sound familiar?

But this comes at an expense of another type.

We can’t continue to be of great service to others if we don’t continually take care of ourselves.

We can’t give great care to others if we’re depleting our own resources without replenishing them.

Taking care of ourselves doesn’t mean we’re being selfish; it means we care about ourselves too.

Right?

So, what are some ways that you practice self-care?

How do you take care of yourself, so that you’re at your best to take care of others?

How do you keep yourself being the Best You, you can be?

For some reason (that a really, really good counsellor could likely figure out!), in the past I was drawn to surrounding myself with people who threw verbal daggers at me, ridiculed me, and focused on pointing out my shortcomings. I gravitated towards friends who took a lot more from me than they gave me. Material things and compliments, but more importantly, emotional support. I was there for them, but they were not the type of people to be there for me.

While I can still offer support to people like this, they are no longer the type of people I choose to spend my social time with. I consciously choose to spend time with people who are more ‘give & take’, people I can help but who can also help me – whether it’s a work-out buddy, a listening ear, or a great adventure-sharing friend. The people I choose to surround myself with are not only people I can benefit with my friendship, but people who make me a better person.

I know what I need, or rather who I need in my life to help me be the Best Me possible.

I’m also no longer eager to jump on anyone’s bandwagon just because they’ve asked me to. I know me and I know what will or will not work for me. What I stand for and what I don’t. And I’m okay with my decisions, based on what will help me to be the Best Me I can be. This is the path I’ll stay on, and what I’ll continue to do, for me.

Those examples are a little more hard-core, but it definitely starts there. Immersing yourself in the lifestyle that resonates with who you are is vital to your self-care.

But you need to know what and who you need in your life to be at your best.

Self-care is giving yourself the things or experiences that contribute to your physical, mental and emotional health; what makes you physically, mentally and emotionally strong.

Which is super vital when you’re the care-taking type.

Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you and help you to be the best version of you, and knowing who you are, is great.

What other ways would you practice self-care?

What else do you need to do, or have in your life to be at your best?

What are ways that you practice self-care?

What would you recommend to someone who is giving their all, but not taking the time to take care of themselves?

Continue to take care of others – I love people like you! – but remember to take care of yourself too!

You’re just as important.

 

Feature photo courtesy of Unsplash/Allie Smith