In today’s American society, I think there’s a lot of confusion on what it means to take care of our own selves. We are, and thankfully so, generally taught that we are to consider the needs of others, but often this lesson is shifted so that many people consider other people without paying close attention to what it means to consider ones own needs.
The spectrum of how not realizing our own needs can effect us is wide. It can manifest simply as over extending ourselves and being tired and grumpy, which can lead to a less enjoyable moment by moment experience for ourselves and those close to us. Going towards the other end of the spectrum, allowing ourselves to be manipulated by others for their own satisfaction can result in catastrophic consequences for ourselves.
We generally don’t think in these terms and when the realization hits that too much energy has been given away to another, its usually too late – at these the first time. If a person never learns how to protect ones own wellbeing, the cycle will continue to repeat, and life will continue to be more difficult than it needs to be.
There are a few things I think generally people have not been taught in life – and the reason why is because the general world view has been one of scarcity and the need for gain at the expense of another. The mindset has gone into all aspects of life causing discomfort. My feeling on this is that exposure to the ideals that we are living in a supportive and beneficent universe, along with the concepts of taking care of our body and mind first before managing other aspects of our lives is a critical first step.
Concepts to hold in mind are:
If you are tired, it is ok to take a nap, take a bubble bath, find some time for quite to re charge.
If you are stressed and its districting you from communicating with other people, its ok to take a break and meditate for some time, or find some music that will calm your nervous system. Its ok to take the time you need to calm down before you continue where your opinion and collaboration is needed.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, its ok not to give a full response. Its ok to take the time to search for what you believe to be the best answer before responding or believing what is being said; there generally is someone who does have in depth knowledge about what the answer is. The key is to continue to search for the person who does know the answer, and if you run up against walls, take a break and recharge. There are many different types of service providers that can help an individual find the answers they are looking for.
A closing note: If you don’t have the cash to pay for services, there are groups and service providers that use a sliding scale or offer some services for free. Keep searching until you find what you need. It is out there for your peace and wellbeing.