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When did YOU last care for yourself? February 19, 2012

Filed under: self awareness — Lyndsey Fraser, MA, LMFT @ 11:12 pm
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When did YOU last care for yourself?


I have started to see a common theme emerge in therapy. Clients ARE NOT caring for themselves. When I reflected farther I realized that even many of my colleagues ARE NOT caring for themselves. This blog is not only for the client but for my fellow therapists. 

We as a society have started to believe that overworking, overachieving, and over functioning are a badge of honor.  I would argue that we are forgetting one of the most essential things, SELF CARE.

I challenge you to stop and reflect….WHEN DID YOU DO SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY FOR YOURSELF.  As I write I stop and reflect on my own life. In the last week I have worked 55 hours  in the office.  In the little time that I have been outside of the office I completed paperwork, organized my room, cleaned the house, did the laundry, and spent some time with friends and family.  So how much time did that leave for ME? Maybe an hour or two, not including sleep. WOW, Even I have fallen into the trap that overworking, over functioning, and over achieving are essential. 

So what happens when we don’t care for ourselves?  The research shows that accumulated stress can lead to physical and mental health problems and isn’t stress the accumulation of overworking, over functioning, and over achieving? As a society we have allowed STRESS TO BE OUT OF CONTROL.  This results in many individuals suffering from physical and mental health problems.  So then you may be asking so how do I correct this?  This is where SELF CARE comes in.  I like to use the image of a tank.  When the tank is full we can give more and provide more to others in our lives.  But if our tank is empty we have nothing to give.  As a result we become crabby, irritable, stagnant, and physically/emotionally sick.  When remember to fill our tanks WE CAN GIVE MORE and as a result we FEEL BETTER. 

I challenge my readers to think of one thing in the next week you can do just for YOU.  I along with you will challenge myself, as my tanks also appear to be close to empty.  Perhaps you and I might just find that when we CAN CARE FOR OURSELVES WE CAN GIVE MORE in our lives.


3 Responses to “When did YOU last care for yourself?”

  1. Renee Segal Says:

    Stress can be harmful for the body as well. Long term stress can cause sleeplessness, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is not only important to take time out and rest but also too take time out to do what feeds you. It can be as simple as reading a good book or participating in a hobby/craft. Bringing balance to ones life is so important and very hard to do when we live in a culture that values productivity. Thanks for this post Lyndsey, it is a reminder to me to create more balance in my life. Renee

  2. David Townes, LICSW Says:

    I think a lot of people skip self-care because there are no obvious or immediate dollar signs attached to it. To me that suggests the problem is not an avoidance or neglect of self-care as much as it is a compulsive pursuit of money and the sense of security that comes along with it. When the anxiety underlying this compulsive behavior gets addressed, self-care quickly follows.

    • Great feedback! I believe you have a good point here. We overwork and neglect self-care for the pursuit of money that will bring security. I have even found myself stuck in this trap in the past. But have found when we provide self-care we do better at our jobs and the other piece fall into place. Which in turn creates the security we have always desired. Addressing the anxiety is the key which will then allow us permission to care for ourselves.

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