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Self-care is Caring for others!

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

When we are drowning, we are not able to help the people around us! We have to be on stable ground first before we are any help to anyone else. Connect to ourselves, regulate our emotions, and care for ourselves; then we can be helpful to others.


Most often when I hear people talking about self-care, the sentiment is that it is selfish and self-serving. It is prioritized last because we find the needs and wants of the people around us more important than ours. This is actually the opposite of what is true! If we want to be there for others in a meaningful way, we have to make sure that we do not leave ourselves in the dust.


Let's look at this scenario


My partner has a lot of anxiety in the morning when trying to get the kids out of the house. I start to feel anxious too because I come out to the living room and everyone is running around with their heads cut off! I tell my partner "calm down!" because I want to get rid of the anxiety I am feeling. Is that helpful?... most often the answer is no.


At that moment, if I were to put myself first. I would take a step back, do a self-soothing skill to regulate the emotions I was feeling, and then walk back into the living room. What do you think happens then?


I would most likely say something like "It looks kinda chaotic in here. How can I help?" This statement is going to be way more helpful for my partner than telling them to calm down. (Being directive in moments of high emotion can actually be very invalidating and escalate the situation)



Ways to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others!



Regulate your own emotions

We are in control of how we feel, yes, and we are also influenced by others. It is natural! When we see people who are sad, happy, or frustrated, we start to feel it too! That is part of being a human. We are social beings!! We do not have control over how we feel, but we do have control over what we then do with that feeling. We can let it run wild, or we can check in with it.

We can let it wash over us while we just observe the emotion rather than trying to stop it. (Do not interact with your environment! Just pause a moment and let yourself have the emotion. Depending on the intensity of the emotion it could pass in a matter of seconds or up to 10 minutes, but it will pass!)

We can see what thoughts we are having that might be leading to the emotion and see if they are accurate.

We can even approach the feeling with curiosity. ("hmm, I wonder where this is coming from. I was fine a minute ago.")

We can do something that is self-soothing to reduce the emotion. (breath, muscle relaxation, do some jumping jacks or squats, smell a candle, drink some water)

Regularly do your hobby

Connect with yourself

Connect with your loved ones



 

Hi, I’m Kristina Anzell, I am a Clinical Social Worker dedicated to providing compassionate and tailored mental health support for moms at all stages of motherhood. My mission is to empower you to thrive in your role as a mother while nurturing your own well-being. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my blog here! If you want more information or are seeking treatment, feel free to reach out!



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