As last week concluded and we celebrated Mother’s Day, I was having some thoughts on self-care. It comes up so often in therapy- this uncomfortable, shame-inducing concept known as self-care. So often, especially among therapists, we feel guilty thinking about doing something for ourselves. It’s selfish to focus on ourselves. At least, that’s what I have told myself. But I need to remind myself that if I challenge my own patients to give themselves permission to take care of themselves, I need to model this in my own personal life. We can set healthy boundaries with others in our lives, just as we can set healthy boundaries with ourselves. As a private practice owner, mother, wife, or any other role I take on, I need to be cognizant of taking time out for myself. Life will always be busy and full of things left on my to-do list, but if not now, then when?
Self-care is vital to maintain work-life balance. You need to make sure there is enough energy and time to engage in important and healthy activities that allow you to feel grounded and centered. I tell many of my clients it only takes 5-7 minutes a day to engage in mindfulness/meditation activities that can help reduce anxiety and depression levels. Enough with distracting and avoiding. Remember your needs are equally important.
Have a meaningful and purposeful week.
-Julie Biffle, MS, LMHC