Dedicated To The Cause For The Greater Good Of You!
If like me, you are juggling so many things from day to day, and you often forget what day of the week it is, then there is no better time like the present to stop, take a big deep breathe, and give yourself permission to slow down a little.
We get pulled from pillar to post. There's work...meetings...deadlines...family...running a household...for some, there's study commitments...friends...and everything else in between. Where in all of this does looking after yourself fit?
Your self-care is just as important...if not more...than all of the above. I am always being reminded by those closest to me who see me being extremely dedicated to all that I do, that if I don't look after number one, then everything else I do is not going to matter.
When we stop for just a moment, and let this very sound piece of advice resonate with us, we really are hit with the truth of it.
Nobody looks after you, better than you do!
When I talk to people about self-love, I feel the energy in the room become uncomfortable. People shrink in to their seats. They fidget and fiddle with their fingernails, and there is a sense of awkwardness that overcomes them. To be completely honest, I am not surprised with the reactions when this topic of discussion is under the spotlight.
We are raised in a culture that teaches us to conform to the expectations that society places upon us. It is seen as selfish to put yourself first. It is perceived as arrogance to say out loud that you love yourself. Why is it, that when someone is doing something for themselves, that they deem to be good for nurturing their soul, people raise an eyebrow of distain?
With mental health issues on the incline, there is no better time than the present to begin embracing the concept self-care and self-love. Recent research undertaken within the Black Dog Institute in this space, indicates that one in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance use disorder.
So tell me....Why can't we get a handle on putting ourselves first?
My belief in this matter is quite simple really. We need to be dedicated to the CAUSE of self-care and self-love. It is at the end of the day, for the greater good of us.
I am a huge advocate for holistic therapies. I practise them myself, and have done so for almost 10 years now. I personally have seen the incredible benefits they have brought, and continue to bring to my life, and those of others when I have been approached to work and support them. What I always preface my conversations with when I am embarking on a journey of support with someone, is this; "There needs to be a great understanding that there is only one person in the drivers seat whilst we 'road trip' this journey together. And that person is you. You control that speed at which we travel at. You make the final decisions in which direction we take. I, as your 'road trip buddy,' am simply offering options for you to take whilst navigating."
It's imperative we recognise that self-care and self-love are not easy. Or at least, not at first. The key to all of this, is patience, commitment, and dedication. Just like a prescribed form of medication to aid with combating a mental illness, things take time to take effect. Likewise, holistic therapies are the same. Nobody masters the practise of meditation in 3 attempts. Journal writing for a week will not take away the problems of the world. Deep breathing every hour on the hour for a few days won't relieve symptoms of anxiety that have been felt for the past 12 months. To reap the benefits of such efforts and practises, you will be required to be patient, committed, and dedicated.
Everything in life requires recognition and acknowledgment to the mere, simple fact, that knowledge is power. And this paves the way to become empowered. You begin to take ownership of your own healing journey - mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You begin to take control, and steer with confidence, what direction you are consciously choosing to take with your life, and your approach to it.
When we make the decision with the utmost clarity to be actively dedicated to the cause of self-care and self-love, then we genuinely acknowledge and accept that everything we do is for the greater good of us, and our journey in this life.