Lessons on Self-Care
Lois Pigney, Off Centre Drama Therapy Volunteer
A significant lesson I have learnt on my own journey towards self-care is the importance of listening; listening to myself.
I have read a multitude of articles suggesting that I try a variety of comforting activities to effectively take care of myself: a hot bubble bath, my favourite meal, a walk in the fresh air. Whilst I cannot deny that a hot cup of tea and a giant bar of Dairy Milk can make my world feel like a better place, I always felt like I needed something more. Going through the motions of these activities somehow didn’t feel enough.
I came to realise that the true art of my self-care is listening to the more difficult parts of my internal world. The part that is exhausted and needs a break, the bit that feels it is somehow not good enough or worthy, the place that feels sad and low and the anxious part that would rather stay at home today. These parts of myself that were screaming out to be looked after were being drowned out by more dominant demands I was placing upon myself: to work harder, keep busy and social, and achieve higher. It was amazing how a bit of acceptance of myself felt so rewarding. Once I started listening to and being kind to these difficult parts, rather than ignoring and fighting against them, it felt easier to take care of myself; to go for that walk or relax in the bubble bath. Acknowledging these parts of ourselves can feel really difficult so it’s important to remember that sometimes self-care can feel really challenging and that is okay. Just in the act of trying, you are succeeding. Being kind to myself is something I have to work hard at every single day!
On a final note; think about the compassion you’d show to your best friend when they needed taking care of … try to show that same compassion to yourself.
Off Centre Drama Therapy Volunteer
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