What do you think is one of the most neglected areas in our personal lives?
If you guessed taking care of ourselves, you are correct. For the most part, we do a really nice job taking care of others, our families, significant others, jobs, animals, volunteering, and jobs, just to name a few.
But when it comes to taking care of ourselves, we either put it on the back burner for when we have extra time, or we simply think it’s selfish and neglect it completely.
I know… the term self-care can seem foreign to many of us. When we’ve spent our lives in service to others, doing what is best for us personally, can appear selfish… at least that what our minds are telling us, and depending who your peeps are, they could be saying the same thing as well.
Self-Care is much bigger than we give it credit for being. Most of us think it’s a pedicure or massage that we talk through, try to direct or are on our cell phone, iPad or computer for the entire treatment. In neither case are we taking time to be present with ourselves.
While getting a beauty treatment, taking a day off work or reading a book are all lovely things to do for yourself, true self-care goes far beyond. It’s learning to say NO without guilt, setting boundaries, learning balance, and standing up for yourself.
Lack of self-care is more powerful than we think. I’ve personally seen it cause depression, illness, jealousy, displaced anger, and the martyr syndrome, just to name a few.
They’re many different definitions of self-care. Wikipedia says that self-care is self-initiated, intentional actions one takes for ones physical, mental and emotional health. (I would add spiritual to the list as well.)
If self-care is a function necessary for ones total well being, then what are the barriers we face that keep us from taking responsibility for our own health and happiness? Family, society, cultural beliefs… old beliefs perhaps, things we’ve been taught, that maybe no longer serve us as we move forward on our personal journey to mindful living. Possibly we don’t think we deserve to be happy or take time off to rest. Or maybe we think we’re indispensable and our jobs can’t do without us. Did you know that according to America’s Waste Record, 658 MILLION vacation days go unused each year? REALLY? That’s shameful.
September is officially on the National Calendar as Self-Care Awareness Month, starting in 2017. Evolve to Live, a non-profit, educational outreach, has been the catalyst for this Awareness Campaign because we feel that it is a subject that has been sorely underestimated. We believe that by filling our own cup we can then serve others from a place of joy. We can’t give what we don’t have.
Evolve to Live is running a 30-Day Self-Care Awareness Month Challenge on Facebook/evolvetolive and Instagram/evolvetolive. Jump in and join us now for the rest of the challenge and win some really fun prizes!
Here is an easy way to remember to Be Good to Yourself.
5 Self-Care Tips
H – Heart – Do what feels right – not what you think you should
E – Eyes – See things from a different point of view
A – Advocate – Become an advocate for yourself, living consciously… choose you
R – Rest – Guilt free
T – Trust yourself
Just remember to stay in your heart. What is best for you is best for those around you, guaranteed. As September draws to an end, try to continue throughout the year Being Good to Yourself! Conceivably you can be the only person you know you’re entire life. Be your own best friend.
Pati Hope – Author, Founder & Executive Director of Evolve to Live
As the founder of Evolve to Live, a Nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Educational Outreach organization, Pati is fulfilling a long time dream. By creating this organization, she is bringing her extensive life experiences, skills as an author (three books and counting), inspirational speaker, transitional coach, energy healer and adventurer under one roof to benefit her clients and community. She is passionate about providing workshops, educational outreach, sessions and speaking to groups both large and small to share her insights and experiences. Pati embodies the mission of Evolve to Live, which is to “Embrace Change and to live life with renewed passion and joy!”