The importance of self-care while juggling commitments
The importance of self-care
In our busy, modern, western lives, many people feel as though they are engaged in a juggling act; managing work, caring for children or relatives, maintaining a romantic relationship, looking after a home and attempting to pursue a social life and hobbies. With this in mind it can feel as though self-care is the lowest priority on your to-do list. However, self-care is what enables the juggler to keep juggling! Without it, working through all of life’s challenges can become overwhelming.
Self-care is the action of purposefully looking after oneself. One frequently used analogy is of putting on your own life jacket or oxygen mask before you help others. If you don't take the time to look after yourself – by putting on your oxygen mask – you can experience burnout and emotional overload.
Although making time for yourself may seem like a luxury, it is important not only in terms of looking after yourself but in maintaining your capacity to look after others and function well in working environments.
The first key step to self-care is acknowledging its importance and your right to it. Begin by challenging any negative thoughts that you have associated with self-care and then try the following strategies:
Make time to play: children inherently engage playfully, yet as adults we rarely prioritise this. Play and laughter are important parts of life and should be engaged in routinely. You could make time to play a game of tig with your children or a board game with your partner. Any activity that is engaged in purely for the joy of it meets ticks this box!
Treat yourself like you would a loved one: buy yourself gifts, make time for yourself and prioritise your emotions
Speak to yourself how you would speak to a loved one: many of us speak to ourselves with an internal voice that is far harsher than we would ever speak to another person. If you find yourself being overly critical, harsh or demanding of yourself, stop and wonder what you would say to a loved one in a similar situation. Then rephrase your narrative to be more positive and encouraging
Make yourself a priority: ensure that your own hobbies, interests and relationships are scheduled into your daily and weekly activities
Engage mindfully: when you are engaging in self-care, ensure that you are mindfully in the moment, rather than thinking about your to-do list or feeling guilty about other priorities
Access nature: there is growing evidence that time spent outside has a positive impact on mental health. In these troubling times it is even more important to access nature frequently
If you are struggling to make time for self-care and this is impacting upon your emotional wellbeing then you may benefit from professional support. Please contact a member of our team to see how we can support you with learning to prioritise yourself through self-care at Maromika at firstname.lastname@example.org