How often do you think about yourself? I mean properly think of yourself and put yourself first.
One of the biggest problems in our modern world is that most of us are focused on external things and people. So much so that it is almost impossible for us to look internally and take time for ourselves. This is why we find self care so difficult and why it becomes so important.
When I was working, my career was the most important thing in my life. It was more important than my relationship, my family, my friendships. I always put work first, and then I wondered why the stress was getting to me, tipping my bipolar to breaking point.
If I was asked to describe myself I would always describe myself by career adjectives, I was a marketer, a manager, and so on. I never thought how to describe myself outside of my career I was completely consumed.
Since I have stopped working I have had to learn who I am without my career to define me. I have had to peel myself back to the bear bones and get to know myself again. I knew nothing of self care before, I didn’t understand the importance of knowing yourself and looking after yourself.
I have changed my diet, I am healthier physically and am slowly becoming healthier mentally. I have started to understand that the person I am is far more than a few career adjectives. My career, whatever it may be eventually, will merely be a part of my life, it will not be my whole.
I’ve learned the importance of self care, that to look after me I have to ensure my relationships are nurtured, I need to take time out for things which nurture me such as reading, going to gigs, writing, mindfulness, walking, and travel.
This isn’t just about self care but learning who you are and accepting yourself, each person is different and we need to learn to love ourselves and each other. We live in a world which is full of judgement and when we live with a mental illness we start to judge ourselves. We need to take time to say “everything is OK and I am worth it” and to just relax, even if we can only spare ten minutes it will help.