Do you ever feel trapped into doing things? Stuck fulfilling the same obligations all the time? Prisoner to the never-changing dynamics of work, family, or romantic relationships? Confined by the expectations others place on you? Maybe it’s your own critical inner dialogue that’s keeping you from moving forward and making progress (check out my earlier blog post here about inner dialogue if you want tips for changing self-talk). And how does self-care fit into that picture?
We all feel that way from time to time throughout our lives. It’s perfectly normal, and it happens to everyone. The key is how aware we are when it happens and what action we decide to take.
The first step is improving our self-care and self-awareness. It’s easy to fall into those patterns of saying ‘yes’ to every request because we don’t want to disappoint the other person. Or maybe we overbook our schedule out of a sense of guilt because we don’t want to let the family down. Or perhaps we feel like we should do certain things.
Cultivating a healthy self-awareness is crucial to combating all those things. What I mean by self-awareness is simply the practice of checking in with your Self to see how you’re feeling emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. This could happen once a day, several times a day, after a difficult interaction with another person… whenever. If your Self says, “yes, everything is fine here” then you can move on and continue whatever you’re doing. If your Self says, “whoa, need some extra TLC” then you can take steps to remedy that.
This is where self-care comes into the picture. Those steps might be making sure you exercise, meditate, spend some quiet time alone, go out with friends, pick up your favorite hobby, get out in nature– whatever you think will benefit you most.
Self-care is not about being selfish. It’s about taking the time and spending the energy to make sure you’re in the best possible frame of mind and heart to be your very best Self. It’s about making healthy decisions that support your growth and overall well-being. If we’re feeling rundown, resentful about our obligations, resistive to fulfilling another ‘should’– it’s difficult to be the loving, caring, supportive friend/spouse/parent/etc. that we want to be!
So work a little more self-care into your daily routine. Ask your Self how things are going. Give it a try and see how things change! Or check out my short video where I share more info here.
If you’re curious about how music therapy and GIM can be part of your new self-care routine, contact me anytime. I’m always happy to answer questions!