The Importance of Self-Care
DO YOU REALLY TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF?
We hear so much talk about self-care and the importance of it. But do you really take good care of yourself?
It’s often good to remind ourselves that our body is the vehicle we travel through our lives in. If you own a car, you are likely to take really good care of it, ensuring it has sufficient fuel and oil to get you to your destination. You make sure your tyres are in good condition, and that you have it regularly serviced. Failure to do any of those things could result in your car breaking down.
So, doesn’t it make sense to take care of yourself?
Unlike a car, you can’t part-exchange your body!
Let me ask you to write down the people in your life, in order of priority – where do you come in this list?
Who Is Top of Your Priority List?
The chances are you do not even exist on this list and even if you do, whereabouts are you? You need to be at the top of the list. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you cannot be there for anyone else. When you are on a plane, you are told to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, otherwise, you will be incapacitated and won’t have any oxygen to help others.
Self-care isn’t just all bubble baths, getting enough exercise and eating healthily. It’s about what makes us feel good, physically and emotionally.
● Taking time to do nothing
● Turning up your favourite music really loud, singing to it, dancing around the room.
● Relaxing in your way. Whether it’s reading, cycling, walking or just chilling.
● Leaving the housework and doing something for YOU. And it can include self-pleasuring…………..
At this point, you may be feeling a little uncomfortable because it’s such a taboo subject. It’s often accompanied by feelings of shame, secrecy and a need to avoid the topic completely. I want to assure you that you are not alone. Yet when it comes to guys, it’s socially accepted that they masturbate, so it’s about time you learned to accept and love all of your body.
Historically and in many cultures, women’s bodies have carried shame and the inevitable secrecy. But there is nothing more pleasurable than getting to know your body, together with self-acceptance and love. Whatever shape and size you are. By giving yourself permission to intentionally pleasure yourself, you may become aware of how you have not previously allowed yourself to deeply receive pleasure – from others or by giving it to yourself. By becoming more familiar with your body, and especially your genitals, you will have a better understanding of what you find pleasurable when you are with your partner, guiding them and YES – asking – for what makes you feel good.
Self-pleasuring, masturbation and orgasms have many benefits, aside from those I have already mentioned, including stress release, and keeping your vagina healthy. There is that old saying “̔̔̔̔̔Use It or Lose It”. Although a cautionary warning, it’s no substitute for the real thing!
That leads me nicely onto your relationship. It’s so easy to neglect it, because you are caught up with the other things in your life – work, kids, the responsibility of extended family, let alone the tedium of daily chores. Often the first thing to go is your relationship. Too often, because you have so much going on, you are too tired to set aside time for your relationship, and that’s where boredom sets in.
Bring back the spark
You remember I just said – ‘Use it, or Lose it’? It’s so very true. Here is the science part to reinforce it. Each time we do something, a connection called a neural pathway is created or an existing one is strengthened in the brain. These neural pathways are connected by neurotransmitters. One of these you may have heard of is dopamine, or ‘the happy hormone’, which is released when we do something exciting, pleasurable, risky, or a combination of the three. The more dopamine that’s produced in the brain during an activity, the more you want to repeat that activity. That isn’t the only thing, making that close connection releases the hormone, Oxytocin – often called the ‘Love Hormone’.
So, what do you do if the spark has gone? Well, first of all, you need to make time for each other. That involves talking to each other – yes, communication is the basis of just about everything. Do nice things for each other, even start with a neck or back massage. Throw away that old tatty underwear, not only will it bring back some spark into your relationship but do it for yourself. You can hardly feel good about yourself if you are wearing grey, worn-out undies!
Be adventurous, if you haven’t already explored the vast array of sex toys available, then now is the time. Online sex stores sell anything from sexy underwear and lubricants to sex toys. Have fun and a giggle exploring. It can open up conversations about what you may both enjoy, or even fantasise about.
Learning to say ‘NO’
Are you able to say NO to others? And if not, what does saying NO mean to you?
● Do you feel guilty?
● Do you think you have let others down?
● Were you told as a child that you should put others before yourself?
● Are you worried that others won’t like you?
There are so many reasons, and it’s certainly worth taking the time out to discover what it means for you. The problem is that you can become put upon, and that can lead to resentment, and lack of self-worth. You can feel that others don’t respect you. But if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t expect others to respect you!
When You Say NO to others,
You are Saying YES to Yourself.
It really isn’t selfish, it’s self-care. Selfish is when you have total disregard for others’ feelings or wellbeing. And I’m sure that doesn’t apply to you. Start learning to say no, when it’s not convenient for you. Let’s go back to your priority list. I am guessing that many mums have put their children at the top, and certainly before themselves or their partner. I’m going to challenge you to rethink your priority list. Next in line after you, needs to be your partner. We know how much children demand our attention, but one day they will fly the nest. And if you neglect your partner and your relationship, chances are you won’t have a relationship – or even a partner.
So, that’s the reason I say you need to put your significant other ahead of your children. Ideally, you parent your children together, standing together as a united front on things like discipline and rules. By making quality time for each other, you are investing in your relationship, but you are also modelling what a healthy relationship looks like for your children because that is what they will base their adult relationships on.
Many people immerse themselves in their work, often becoming workaholics. Everything else takes second place. Including their own health and wellbeing, their family and friends.
Finally, I invite you to read the following which I discovered many years ago and certainly made me stop and think.