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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.