by Harriet Cabelly
Are you OK with giving to yourself, with doing for yourself, with taking care of you?
Before you can practice self-care to any degree, you have to believe that it’s OK to tend to yourself—that you matter and that you cannot run on empty, regardless of how little time there is. You’re not being selfish, and there’s no payoff for martyrdom.
You know the old airplane deal: put on your own oxygen mask first. Just use that principle in deciding—and yes, it is a decision—to take some time out for you. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
So after you actually decide that you too are a person who needs regular “maintenance,” you must tackle the time belief. Yes, time is a major commodity, and how you spend your precious time is a choice. It’s so easy to tell yourself, I just don’t have time for anything more than I’m already doing, and have to do. There are always the kids, the work, the parents … the perennial treadmill of busyness. (And that’s not counting how much time we all waste with social media and other distractions.)
Self-care is about making the decision to put yourself into your own schedule. It can be just a few minutes a day, or an hour a week—whatever’s doable. These micro-periods of time can actually replenish and rejuvenate you.
Harriet Cabelly is a licensed clinical social worker in NYC. Contact her at 516-214-4778 or through her website, RebuildLifeNow.com, or her Facebook page at RebuildLifeNow.