Self-care Spotlight 001

By Ashley Barnes, Ketamine Therapy Coordinator at Mental Health Center

Self care is a concept that is often misinterpreted. Many believe it is synonymous with self-indulgence, deeming it unnecessary and frivolous. In reality, we need to engage in self care in order to maintain our mental and physical health, keep up with our numerous responsibilities, and to find a sense of balance in our lives. If we don’t attend to ourselves and our own needs, we will find it increasingly challenging to attend to others’ needs. Readers may have heard the same idea communicated through the cup analogy. Imagine your life being represented by a full cup of water. In front of you are other cups, some representing responsibilities such as work or school, others representing organizations or communities you may be involved in, and other cups may be the people in our lives. The water represents our time, energy, and intention. When we keep pouring into others’ cups, we eventually run out of water; this means we no longer have anything left for ourselves and certainly nothing left to give.

We must pour into ourselves in order to be able to pour into others. It is also important to find balance pertaining to how much we pour into certain cups. In sum, I have come to understand self care as anything we can do to take care of ourselves so we can stay physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally well. Self care could mean setting firm boundaries when we feel burdened, it could mean engaging in grounding exercises when we are stressed and anxious, going for a run when we feel we need movement, it could be eating healthy food, or it could be praying or meditating. Self care is meant to be uplifting and make us feel good. Explore with me the many ways we can care for ourselves.

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