Self care

Discussion in 'The Village Square' started by Ronni, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    The idea of self care is a concept I've had zero connection with for most of my life. Me, care for myself? But..but...I've always put my loved ones first. I've always considered myself 2nd, or 10th, or not at all...usually not at all. My picture could've been next to "selfless" in the dictionary, at least when it came to my kids. Yes, we all do for our kids, we all take care of them because as parents it tends to come naturally, but I took that to an unhealthy degree.

    There were all kinds of things tied up in that other- care; codependency, a driving need to over-compensate for their abusive father, my very vague boundaries about where they stopped and I began...so many issues, so much dysfunction. My son's addiction is when I first began to realize how badly I needed some self care. A lot of water under the bridge and a lot of hard, soul searching work on myself, peeling the layers and laying myself bare for my own scrutiny and critique, and then slowly putting myself back together again, but this time jigsawing the pieces differently than I did before.

    My kids, and now my grandkids, and more recently my beloved fiancé Ron are the most important people in my life. And they always will be because that's just how I roll. But for the first time in my life *I* am important too. I'm not a second class citizen, the chick who's happy with scraps, the afterthought. Nope. Not me. Not anymore.

    I'm still learning, still looking for the right balance, that sweet-spot-mid-point pendulum swing. Sometimes it still swings too far in the direction of my loved ones, because I am, after all, a work-in-progress. But I'm learning. And fingers crossed when I fall off the path I'll jump right back on again, because that means I'm continuing to grow and expand and flex and become more and more emotionally healthy.

    So, how about you guys....do you practice self-care?
     
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  3. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    zip for me. I haven't been to the doctor in 20 years.
     
  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    If I am happy, contented and love my live then I believe I am taking care of myself.
     
  5. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    Because I have so recently (relatively speaking) begun to focus on a modicum of self care, I'm still learning what that means. Depending on who you talk to, self care can be anything from pedicures to regular doctor visits to bubble baths to alone time to caring for ones appearance.

    I've taken care with my appearance for most of my life, so it sure ain't that for me! Personally it's in a couple of different areas. First of all are the things that I consider luxury items like pedicures, dance lessons, weekend getaways, trying out various activities to see if I like them, that kind of thing. These were things that I used to consider frivolous, especially when there was little money and little time so finding dollars and hours to pursue them seemed selfish because it was always going to take away from someone else's time with me, or time that I would spend doing for someone else.

    And the other thing was my own mental health, caregiving that in whatever way I needed to, whether is was seeing a counselor, time for meditation and reflection and introversion, self-help studies and education to better understand what makes me tick.

    Both those things were in very short supply for me until very recently. When I was married, I was certainly not encouraged in any of those pursuits! And I became so controlled that I just simply didn't have the temerity to defiantly pursue them. And then when my son's addiction hit, all my time and my money, every resource I had or could create fueled my countless attempts to "help" or "rescue" (enable) him. I was so completely immersed in his life that I had none of my own.

    That was the beginning of my awakening as to how dysfunctional I had become and the beginning of my journey out of the pit I'd dug for myself.
     



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  6. Catdaddy6676

    Catdaddy6676 In Flower

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    I have always been a caregiver but, being in the field of healthcare I have learned to be better to me. It makes sense to put your needs after others, but if you are the one in need then you should know that it will be difficult if nigh impossible to care for others if you are in poor health.

    As a physical therapist I often teach family members that they must take care in caring for others. That means lifting properly so as not to strain your own back.

    Little things like that mean a lot.
     
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  7. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    @carolyn ...docs aren't so bad. Sometimes they help.
     
  8. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Good for you Ronni.
     
  9. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    yah, I know, but I haven't been sick enough to go and honestly scheduling something months in advance? Not in my life. Well, I do have to take that back .. I had pneumonia about 10 years ago maybe more and I needed to have a knicked artery stitched up. Oops.
     
  10. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Whoa! A knicked artery? Glad you went in for that! You sound like the knight in that Monty Python skit who has one limb after another cut off & he keeps proclaiming it "just a scratch"!

    But seriously how about just routine stuff like paps, mammos, colonoscopies? They can actually save you a lot of grief if they catch stuff early.
     
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  11. adam.ca

    adam.ca Seedling

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    yes, it's important to put yourself first, if you let them, your kids and spouse will burn you out! "drive me here" "get me this and that" "do this for me" the list is of request is never ending and generally filled with reasonable request that you COULD very well pull off. But one needs to be able to say " No, i cant drive you, i've got a show i want to watch " or something to that effect.

    if you can't put yourself first sometimes, you'll end up burnt-out and thus no longer capable of handling the things they really NEED from you.
     
  12. Canadian Lori

    Canadian Lori New Seed

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    I have always taken care of others and probably always will.

    I make sure I get a regular checkup and anything needs fixing I follow docs orders.

    Me time. That's when I'm gardening or Sunday morni gs when I'm watching my show... and making read for my family and friends. Everyone knows not to call me on a Sunday morning. :)

    One son is now into gardening (and I think his thumb is way greener than mine) so when he visits, we talk about plants and gardens so this is also me time.

    I stil work for myself and schedule most of my work to happen on cloudy days. Might as well be paid when I have to be inside.

    It's all about balance to me. Take care of my physical health and I'm strong enough to help others, earn a living, and have time to socialize and play.
     
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  13. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    Yes! I'm still working on leveling out that pendulum swing. ;) I mean, because this is life and we're all human, the pendulum is going to swing a bit one way and then the other, and that's normal. It's not always going to just stay rock steady in the middle. Sometimes I will purposely shift that balance because of an extenuating circumstance. But more often than not it's a situation where I get caught up in the moment and forget to level out. That extenuating circumstance becomes a sort of new normal. And then I have to work to find my way back. ;)
     
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