Self Care and Caring for Others

Last week during one of our classes on SWEET and maintaining energy integrity, several people were surprised to learn something about themselves. These were people who would say they look after themselves, have a healthy lifestyle and take time for themselves. I think if you asked them they would say they have a clear sense of what wellness means to them and as a rule they practise self-care. Here’s the surprise they discovered. When it came to checking their priorities for self-care, some discovered looking after themselves was way lower a priority than caring for others. It is important to understand that when we talk about self-care we are not advocating pushing to the front of a queue to get everything at the expense of other people. Rather, it is like the safety announcement on planes: if ever the oxygen masks come down, please secure your own mask before assisting anyone else, even children. It was surprising in our class how some people felt they could not, would not, do that as they had a belief system that they had to help everyone else first. It would be too selfish to look after themselves first. It is only when we realize that looking after ourselves first is actually unselfish that we can agree with the idea of putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first. After all, how can we assist others if we are comatose? Would it not be more selfish to be so busy looking after others that we neglect ourselves and end up needing to be looked after by others? This concept can be applied to so many areas of our lives. It’s about understanding we cannot give what we don’t have. We have to be able to have some sight before we can lead a blind person unless you have years of experience negotiating without any sight, in which case you have found an alternate way to navigate without sight so being visually impaired is no longer holding you back and you have all sorts of ways to assist someone else!

How are you in the self-care priority department? Want a way to check?

Place your right hand in the Heart Metta position (if you are not sure what that is, you can find out by requesting my Heart Metta ebook using the sign up form below) 

With your hand in this position, ask yourself what your number is for your agreement with these statements. (10 is total agreement and 0 is total disagreement.)

1.My well-being matters to me.

2. It is important I look after myself adequately before assisting others.

3. It is unnecessary to sacrifice my own health and well-being in order to assist others.

4. There is no need to have others drain my energy in order to assist them.

If you are a parent with a newborn you will be very familiar with sacrificing sleep and grabbing a bite when you can and caring for the baby is paramount. When looking at the statements above, we are not talking about those kinds of situations. Although, even in the case of a parent with a newborn, it is advisable to rest as much as possible when the baby naps. 

Did you get an agreement quotient of ten for those statements? If you did, great, you have good healthy boundaries and your self-care is right up there. If your numbers are low, it would be good to explore why other people’s well-being is more important than your own. You may find you discover some deep core beliefs that may not have been apparent to you that could be in the way of your having optimal wellness.

“How we care for ourselves gives our brain messages that shape our self-worth so we must care for ourselves in every way, every day.”~Sam Owen