Last week, I started a post called Ten Steps to Starting a Self Care Program – Part 1. I didn’t intend to wait a whole week before posting the second part, but life happened. I got busy and the next thing I knew it was a week later. On a positive note, you should all be experts at the first three steps by now.
Here are the remaining steps:
4. Get used to asking for help
It is truly ok to communicate your needs to others. A lot of us are traumatized because we once tried to communicate our needs in the past and we got stepped on. This stuff happens a lot, but your right to communicate your needs still exists even if someone else didn’t/doesn’t recognize it. Find someone who recognizes it and responds to it positively. Being able to express your needs to another can be a powerfully healing act.
5. Stop giving your power away
Every time you make your healing dependent on the actions of another individual, not only are you giving them all of your power, but you’re putting your well-being into the hands of someone who can only help you in a limited way. You must be the administrator of your own healing. Another person can certainly help you along by offering you forgiveness, apologies or saving the day, but ultimately, you are the person in control of whether or not you release your suffering.
6. Stop accepting other people’s power
If someone is expecting you to be their hero and sweep down and fix all of their problems, know that you can only provide them limited service. You can help them along by offering forgiveness, apologies or saving the day, but ultimately they are in control of whether or not they release their suffering. They may be constantly making demands on you, and you may be fulfilling them, but then they squander everything you give them by not using it to help themselves. That’s not a pattern you want to be in.
7. Allow yourself professional help
It’s truly ok to spend time and money on yourself. It can actually be an incredibly empowering act to do so. It helps you recognize that you are worth the investment. You are valuable and therefore your health is valuable. Also, it makes a lot more sense to invest in your self-care before it gets to the point where you can no longer go on without it. There are many, many people out there whose job it is to help you focus on your own healing. If you can’t do that, at least do research, read books, read blogs and follow people online who inspire you.
8. Do it
Carve out ten minutes a day or one hour a week or whatever you can manage. Throw as much time towards it as you can. Once you’ve done this, you might start seeing where and how you can re-organize your life to make your self-care easier. You’d be surprised at how many solutions seem obvious and clear once you start taking some time for yourself. It might be awkward and difficult, at first, but it will get easier with time.
9. Recognize that feeling guilty/awkward/agitated is ok and know that it will pass
If self-care is a rare occurrence for you, your new practices are going to feel weird, at first. You’ll probably have a lot of conflicting emotions about it, and that’s fine. Let yourself feel the way you feel. All emotions tend to naturally dissipate as long as you allow yourself the freedom to feel them. This is the time when you need to just be patient. Like anything else, the more you practice, the more natural it seems.
10. Keep it up
If you continue, you will probably start seeing the value of caring for yourself more and more. Because of this, you’ll probably want to devote more time to it. Other priorities that you once thought were indispensable might suddenly not seem so important compared to your self-care.
Ok, so there you have it, ten steps to self-care. I think that like with anything that is designed to help you it is better to start sooner rather than later. If you aren’t taking good enough care of yourself, what is stopping you? There is only one you, there will only ever be one you, and your time is limited. Why not make the most of your Earthly time with yourself? Let’s talk about this! Put your comments or questions below.