Self-Care – You Are Your Priority

by | Oct 18, 2022 | Sober Life | 0 comments

Sharing this helps others realize they are not alone

What is Self-Care

self-care isn't selfishSelf-care is often seen as an indulgence that only the privileged can afford. However, it is a vital part of maintaining our overall well-being. Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as taking time in the morning to enjoy that first cup of coffee or tea. Prioritizing ourselves through self-care is not selfish.

Self-care refers to any activity that we do for ourselves to nurture and rejuvenate our bodies, minds, and spirits. Whether taking time for a nap or getting out into nature for a walk, self-care is essential for staying balanced and healthy in today’s busy world.

Given how much stress and negative emotions we encounter daily, it is easy to overlook the importance of self-care. But neglecting yourself in this way can have serious consequences. For example, chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems and affect your mental well-being.

Self-care is not selfish. It allows us to decompress from daily life’s demands, helping us reenergize and find balance once again. Unfortunately, self-care has become a buzzword, which puts pressure on people to practice self-care even if they don’t know how.

Why Self-Care?

So why do we need self-care? Because ultimately, it helps us to be our best selves: physically, mentally, and emotionally strong. Self-care doesn’t require much time or energy; just a few small actions every day or week can go a long way in nurturing your mind, body, and spirit. So don’t put off your self-care needs any longer – make taking care of yourself a priority.

I can tell you what happened to me when I put everyone else first. I went down a dark path of anger, depression, and alcoholism. I was so resentful of doing anything for anyone else, but I was such a people-pleaser that, in many ways, I couldn’t stop putting others first.

Yes, in part, I was taught by my abusive parents that I never came first. In addition, their abuse taught me that prioritizing myself was selfish, even though their selfishness warped my development, altering how my brain approached the world – everyone else came first, and I came last. 

If I had not worked so hard over these last several years to change that mindset, and get sober, I would have lost everything, including my life.

Mindset Shift: Self-Care is For Me

stop negative self-talkSelf-care is a crucial part of mental and physical wellness. We can all agree that self-care is not selfish. But how do we start implementing self-care in our lives? For me, it began with changing my mindset. I had to teach myself that I am a priority, and by taking care of myself first, I am taking care of others.

With my therapist’s help, I created several mantras to remind myself that I am a priority. Maybe they will help you too. They are:

  • I am MY priority
  • I am important
  • Say “No” to Others – it’s okay
  • Say “Yes” to ME – definitely okay

I practiced these, and still practice these mantras, every day. When a request for my time comes in, I pause and determine if it is something that aligns with my priority – me. Because let’s face it, without the external pressure to do things for other people, we would easily (and happily) prioritize ourselves without feeling conflicted.

And those feelings of conflict cause the stress and the guilt that self-care is supposed to help. But then we feel guilty for prioritizing ourselves. So it is a vicious cycle.

Practicing Self-Care

self-care is not selfishNow that you have some mantras and a decision tree, the next step is figuring out what works best for you to practice self-care. For example, some people practice self-care through regular exercise or meditation, while others focus on getting enough rest, eating well, or spending time with loved ones.

Ultimately, the most important thing when practicing self-care is to find activities that make you feel cared for and supported. For me, it was getting back in touch with my introversion. And that means time spent alone recharging my batteries. That is the foundation of my self-care. During that time, I can read, write, watch TV, or draw, but the key for me is that I am alone.

As part of this journey, I rediscovered something I love, writing and drawing, and am exploring something new, playing the piano.

So whatever works for you regarding self-care, don’t forget that it’s not selfish – it’s essential! And with the right approach, you can ensure that your overall health and happiness are always top of mind.

This guy. Nailed it. Amazing, right?

I have always wanted to learn to play the piano. So, I signed up for piano lessons, which are both learning something new and taking time for myself to practice.

Too Busy for Self-Care?

Are you reading this and thinking, these are great! Except, I am too busy for all that, Talia.

Okay, so here are my tough questions for you:

Are you really too busy for self-care? Or are you telling yourself that you are too busy? Or are you ensuring you are too busy for self-care because you don’t think you are worthy of self-care?

Sit with those questions for a moment before reading on.

Ready? Okay, here is the thing, I created a busy life so I wouldn’t have to think about how miserable I was. I kept moving, adding to my plate, and offering to take care of others so I wouldn’t have to sit with myself.

Because it was in those quiet moments that I realized I hated myself. That self-hatred was partly my abuser’s rhetoric of how worthless I am as a human being. But it was more than the programming I learned during my development years. It was that I had built a life based on what I thought I should be doing.

If the idea of self-care is causing you to panic, as it once did for me, I highly recommend seeking a therapist. I was too overwhelmed at the beginning of my journey to figure this out by myself. When you are ready to reach out for professional mental health assistance, I recommend Online-Therapy.*

*I receive compensation from Online-Therapy when you use my referral link. I only recommend products and services when I believe in them.

Honesty is Self-Care Too

First and foremost, you, just as I did, have to be honest with yourself, or you won’t be able to change anything. Oh, sure, you can read this blog post about self-care, nodding in agreement the whole time, but unless you figure out what your truth is around self-care, no amount of reading and nodding in agreement will change anything in your life.

I suppose, ultimately, if a change is what you are looking for in your life, as it was in mine, then there are some questions that you need to ask yourself.

  • How do I feel about my life?
  • Are there things that I would like to change?

Change is difficult. Teaching yourself a new perspective is one thing; teaching people about your new perspective is another. However, I can tell you that it is worth prioritizing yourself.

Sharing this helps others realize they are not alone


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