As a Clinical Psychologist, I am privileged to work with some of the most beautiful, loving, caring, generous and giving individuals you will ever meet, yet all present with a combination of anxiety, depression, stress, burnout with health issues. Caring for others is a selfless act of loving-kindness and most of my clients are caring experts, they care for others brilliantly, automatically, often without expectation, appreciation or reciprocation. It is ‘over caring for others’, entwined with the belief that pleasing or meeting the needs of others is more important than one’s own needs, the reason why many kind loving individuals end up in my office, usually totally overwhelmed with a psychological diagnosis.
Many readers will resonate greatly with the attributes of a ‘Caring’ personality. Nurturing others is a natural and deeply ingrained part of the maternal role. Pleasing and giving to others is not only an internally rewarding act of loving kindness, but also a highly esteemed personal attribute offering external rewards and social recognition. When you love someone very much it is all too easy to care and give too much, a habit that eventually effects our mental and physical health. Self-Sacrifice and Subjugation of one’s own emotional needs tops the list of cognitive beliefs of those suffering from chronic burnout. It feel’s good to help others, but as the demands of living in this modern world have multiplied, it is essential that we also nurture, care and help ourselves.
It is the art of balancing giving to others with caring for oneself that is key to staying healthy. This can be a challenging task. Most caring individuals are highly compassionate, sensitive, intuitive and empathic. Many can sense the emotions of others, even feel the distress of others in their own body and for such individuals they are highly susceptible to psychological, emotional and physiological burnout and illness. The science examining the Mind-Body connection is indisputable, caring for others without adequately caring for oneself is causal in chronic illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Cancer and other lifestyle diseases. Self-Care then is non-negotiable, if we want to feel good, be the best parent, partner, employee, employer, live well, avoid being struck down by a nasty disease, we simply have to do the work. We have to take good care of ourselves, our own ‘temple’ that is our mind body and soul.
Self-Care is also a reflection of self-respect and it is the best life insurance policy you can ever invest in. Yet putting the ‘Self First’ does not come easily or naturally to many of us. In Western Society putting ones own needs first is often frowned upon and many people have a fear of being seen as selfish. Putting your ‘Self First’ is not an act of selfishness; on the contrary, it is an intelligent conscientious decision to love and respect the greatest asset you will ever have – Your Body! Now, more than any time in history, is the time to change the way we think, to reflect on how we feel and where we invest our time, caring, giving and loving. To honour ‘Our Self’.
Self-Care is a ‘Mindset’, a way of thinking and doing that requires conscious intention, commitment, rehearsal and practice. We owe it to ourselves, to our Mind Body and Soul, to put our ‘Self First’, to take time to nurture ourselves, to develop a daily practice of meditation, activity, reflection, healthy eating and quality sleep. It takes three months to build a new Mindset and a new set of habits. It might not be easy…..but it will be worth it.
Dr Sally James is a Clinical Psychologist and a Mind Body Wellness Coach.
She is also a public speaker and facilitator of Mind-Body-Wellness Transformation Programs, Workshops + Retreats
She works from Office Locations In Buderim + Noosa
For further information on Sally’s Mind-Body-Wellness Workshop on 18th November in Nambour or
Future Workshops please contact her on 0400 722029 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org