By Dr. Yulanda Tyre
If you count the length of summer by your communities K-12 academic calendar, like
many of us, then you know that there are only a few more blissful weeks of summer
remaining. Gosh, it seems that summer just began! Time indeed seems to move faster and faster these days, each moment feels packed or overflowing with tasks, unexpected challenges and uninvited responsibilities. The swift movement of time can make life feel like an acrobatic juggling act that expands beyond the use of your hands to include arms, legs and other body parts. The business of life can present the illusion that there is not enough time to slow down and smell the roses, so that doing so will seem irresponsible. The pace of society can promote beliefs related to the need to keep up, stay connected, be seen, be known or even out preform others, limiting considerations for a balanced life of wellness and self-care. A few of you reading this may be thinking that you are not comparing yourself to others you’re just trying to stay a-float. “The float” these days seems to move a bit faster, cost a little more and require more time and attention than prior generations, causing some of the same limitations in wellness and self-care.
Since my last article I had a few people reach out to me with questions regarding their self-care. I have noted a few of them below in hopes of provoking some thoughts for consideration and encouragement to those of you who might find yourself struggling from day to day with putting yourself on your to-do-list.
My plate is FULL! There is not enough time to do anything for myself.
I hear this statement the most and unfortunately, generally from women. Honestly, have you ever heard a guy complain about self-care? Males have a natural
ability or superpower that many of us can learn from. Males have a solid, God given
ability to compartmentalize things! While we can chuckle about this natural superpower under our breath, as we consider evenings and weekends of our favorite guy focused on TV, sports, fishing or hunting. We have to admit they have the ability to laser focus on the things that they deem to be important to them and effectively block out the rest of the world. Question for you, what are you focusing on? Do you ever find your wellness and self-care to be important? If you find yourself pausing with this question this might be the starting point for you!
Spending time taking care of myself seems selfish when so many things need to be done.
Yup, your right, it can appear that way. There seems to ALAWAYS be something to do. If you find this to be the sentiment in your life, then ask yourself if you have to do it all right now at the expense of yourself (and possibly others)? Do you have the wisdom and discipline to determine what is the most important or relevant for your time along with the ability to structure your body, mind and spirit in a way that develops and maintains balance in your life? Self-care is a mindset. Unfortunately, a mind-set that many of us struggle with. Consider this an opportunity to spend some time thinking about how you arrived at the current way of thinking and begin to explore ways that you can get back in balance with yourself. This is your opportunity to reignite!
How do I mentally turn myself off? I understand that selfcare is important, however, how do I allow myself to be ok with it?
Like any new activity that feels foreign to you, you might have to gain comfort with the initial discomfort of doing something new that you know is important for you. You have to make you a commitment. Start small and build on activities that bring you joy and clarity of mind. Self-care is a gift that you give yourself, that no one outside of you can do for you that is why it is called “self-care”. Stop waiting on permission, or affirmation from the majority. They don’t have authority in this area of your life.
Ask yourself if you ever the priority? What evidence could you share with me (well
yourself) to support this? Things (and relationships) that are important require time. How much time and attention are you willing to give to yourself to ensure that you are able to live a long and quality life? What are you willing to do to make sure that you are minimally modeling good self-care behaviors for your family, possibly your children?
Modeling a strong work ethic is important, however so is self-love, self-confidence and self-edification…foundational tools for caring for others-thus strengthening our families and communities.
Dr. Yulanda Tyre is Owner of Reignite, Counselor, Coach and Consultation Service
and author of Reignite, a 21 Day Devotional. She is committed to helping others realize, renew and ignite their talents, dreams and goals.
She is a licensed counselor, counselor supervisor and holds a PhD in Counselor
Education. She has been working as a counselor, counselor educator, author and
higher education professional for over 15 years.
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