Self-care can be a funny beast. We are told, we know deep inside, that we have to practise self care in order to be our best for the world – put your own oxygen mask on first. Yet often I wonder how much of what I do is self care and how much is selfish.
For instance, I know that taking too much on and feeling a *need* to respond, do things, be there for people can often lead me to burn out and a lengthy enforced hermit in my cave to recover. Yet I often pause and wonder – am I doing this for self care, am I ignoring that request, saying no, because I am selfish. Basically, because I don’t want to and you can’t make me.
It’s the same with self care versus laziness. Am I taking time to meditate, reflect, journal, watch Black Adder reruns, because I need the space and time to regain my energy and find the direction of my next step … or am I being lazy and running from my responsibilities and problems.
I guess it comes down to how aware you are of your actions and how conscious you are of the reasons for them, what are your motives. In that moment when you are reading a book rather than doing your work stop and reflect and decide – do I truly need this respite or …
Often it’s hard to tell, and when you have depression it’s often the auto-response to tell yourself you’re being lazy, and then it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump to saying all the mean things to yourself and either sinking deeper into the Mire of Despair or forcing yourself to get up and DO STUFF even though you really, truly, desperately need a rest.
There is no easy answer, no simple solution. And here’s the poke to the tummy – it is you, and only you, who can decide and do what’s best for YOU. Sure you can ask you bff, your FB groupies, Twitter, but honestly the answer is only within you and you have to search for it, find it, listen to it, and do it.
Learn to be aware of your self, your motives, and your needs.