When responding to the questions “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” there is a certain level of peripheral noise that one has to reduce to clearly hear the response. These are the blaring sounds of responsibility that demand your focus: work, family, friends, society. They often dominate your attention such that your own voice becomes muffled. Thus in order to reconnect with ourselves, one must increase the priority you give to yourself in your life.
Self care is a lifestyle choice that substantiates you as a priority that is as important as those other life responsibilities.
Self care means carving out at least a few hours a week in which you allow yourself to reconnect with your genuine self, begin to listen to where your thoughts go, and how your respond to the questions “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”. It focuses on personal time and inner reflection and is accomplished in different ways:
- Attending to your physical self by attending to health needs, eating well, exercising, engaging in beauty rituals
- Attending to your mental health by meditating, investing in therapy, taking a prescheduled vacation, taking a lunch break instead of working through it.
- Attending to your mind by reading a book, learning something new
Many people understand the concepts surrounding self-care, but struggle with identifying what stops them from engaging in this lifestyle choice, and undervalue the consequences of what happens when you do not. Carving out time solely for ourselves becomes a luxury and not a necessity.
One must explore what prevents you from prioritizing self care. Often people note time and money prevent self care; however, this may be an acceptable way to practice avoidance of truly connecting with yourself. When something is important enough you make time for it and you allocate financial resources to make it happen. The most salient question we can ask ourselves is why is self care or creating time to reconnect with ourself not a priority?
Adaobi Anyeji, Phd
The Blue Clinic
Specializing in the treatment of sadness, depression, worrying, anxiety
Los Angeles based Private Psychology Practice
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