Self Love and Self Care
As people, we are often told that we should love others as we love ourselves. However, I believe the opposite to be true for many people. We should love ourselves as we love others, or at the very least we should put the same amount of effort into loving ourselves as we do loving or trying to impress others. This, of course, is not true for everyone, but in my work with client's I see more people forgetting to love themselves and/or not even trying. This could be because there is a general belief of unworthiness or they claim to be 'people-pleasers' in which the anxiety of hurting others makes them forgo any thought about personal consequences.
Here is where the trouble begins. We allow things to hurt us in order to please others! Or maybe we believe it's the path of least resistance. I love all my empaths out there, and the world would be less without you. But, self love and self care should be a priority for everyone. As a mother this can be extremely difficult for me. Everyone has their own role and reasons why this may be difficult, so lets start with some basics.
Self love is a concern for your own well-being and happiness. Self care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting this well-being and happiness.
So, for someone with anxiety this could look like recognizing that your anxiety has increased and wanting to explore what's going on for you. Then put into practice a coping skill you have learned. For a mother like me, this could look like asking my husband to take the kids to a different room of the house to play while I get to finish my morning coffee while it's still hot! For each scenario and each person, self love and self care is going to look different, and it may change with different seasons of life.
One of my goals within my therapeutic work is to ensure that I am assisting my client's with determining what self love and self care looks like for them. We can't love others or care for others the way we want or need to if we aren't getting love and care as well.
As Ellen Degeneres says at the closing of each show, "Be kind to one another," and yourself!