I believe self-care is taking care of your basic needs… and some of your wants, for the purpose of strengthening yourself so you are able to help others.
I believe as women we have a special gift to know what other people need and to find a way to help them.
What we don’t do is use that gift on ourselves.
We need to learn to turn the focus of this gift around and use it to benefit ourselves and see what we need. Does this mean that we never focus on anyone else? Of course not. I would never tell you to be self-absorbed. Maybe I’d better explain myself a bit better.
You work hard.
Most of us work our way into exhaustion and when we’re exhausted, we can’t love others as fully as we could.
Just a few years ago, I didn’t believe that taking time to take care of myself would actually help me to love others more. I distinctly remember being at a class a friend of mine was teaching and this topic came up. I couldn’t believe that she was teaching that we have to love ourselves in order to fully love others. I couldn’t see it. I wouldn’t see it. I thought I showed love to people really well. It was one of the things I thought I did best. So, I dug my heels in.
I’m here to admit that I was wrong.
I guess the truth at that time, was, that it was painful admitting how much I didn’t love myself. I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t emotionally able to love others as deeply as I could because of how I felt about myself.
I can’t even express to you the shift that has happened in my life since learning to love ME.
The first step of course was to admit that I didn’t.
It took a lot of work, prayer, journaling and opening my heart up to new ideas to overcome such a deeply rooted view I had of myself.
When you haven’t bonded with the people that are supposed to love you most, it’s hard to understand what love is supposed to look like, even towards yourself.
Childhood trauma will do that.
I’m here to tell you that the work was totally worth it and I wish that I would have recognized the way sooner.
But, I also believe there is timing in everything and this timing was right for me to learn what I needed to learn in the way that I could learn it.
I still struggle sometimes. Days can be hard when I don’t put the time in to care for me. That’s why I’m sharing some of the simple things I do for myself that have really helped me not to fall into a bad spot as often.
If you think of self-care as trips to the nail salon or to getting a massage or constantly buying new clothes, you might think that you don’t have enough time or money to care for yourself.
That’s a lie that we started to believe because of what we see on social media and we’re thinking of self-care in different ways. The way you show love to yourself doesn’t have to cost a dime. In fact, it doesn’t even have to take very long.
It’s all in how you look at it . It’s just a simple mind shift that you can start doing right now.
I realize that my definition of self-care may be different than others. And I’m totally ok with that, because I know this works!
“I believe self-care is taking care of your basic needs… and some of your wants, for the purpose of strengthening yourself so you are able to help others.”Marla beech
As I said at the beginning, I believe women have the capacity to sense what other people need and when they need it.
Our nature is to think of other people first, to nurture and to care for those around us. How cool is that!!
This can be a gift but it can also be a curse if we don’t use that gift to care for ourselves too.
Have you ever taken the time to think how you would care for a best friend if she was feeling just like you are right now? What would you say to her? What would you suggest she do to start feeling better?
How about saying the same things to yourself!!! Cool, right?
Let’s start using our gift to start the day off right. Take a minute and really think about what you need today. Let it be okay to need something! That’s a whole mike drop right there. Do you allow yourself to NEED????
If you need permission to need something, I’m giving that to you right now! I didn’t say to become needy, but it is ok to admit that you can’t do everything and you may need something.
When you first start doing this it’s gonna take a little while to get used to, but that’s okay. Give yourself some time to really sense what you need. Like, sit with yourself for a minute, close your eyes if that helps you focus, and really look deep inside and ask yourself, “What is it that I need right now?”
Tears come often for me because no one ever really asked me this. I’d always just been told growing up what I needed to do for everyone else.
It’s getting easier the more I do it. I need. And I’m ok with that. If I can do it for myself, then I do. If I need a little help, I’m learning to speak up and ask.
It’s your gift to know what you need and you can do this!
I do think we need to train ourselves to think more simply. It makes it more likely that you’ll do it if you keep it simple.
Let’s write down some ideas that make you feel loved and cared for.
Here’s a few of mine:
- I take a nap when I feel tired.
- I allow myself to get comfy and read a book, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
- Go for a walk listen to a favorite song.
- Call a friend.
- Watch a favorite movie.
- Take a bubble bath (in fact, I have a weekly scheduled night for this one!)
When I realized that when I took better care of myself I was more able to care for others and in a better way, life has really changed for me. I’m definitely happier. I feel like I’m more prepared for promptings of ways to serve my friends. Instead of waiting for someone else to do nice things for me, I started doing them for myself. I have felt more prepared to care for others that I care about .
Finding the ways you need to care for yourself is very personal. Only you know what you really need. Be willing to give it to yourself.
Because you actually are worth it.
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