Transformational Talk ... a column by Penelope Young Andrade
Have Trouble Taking Care of Yourself?
April 01, 2017 -Penelope Y. Andrade
Do you have trouble taking care of yourself? Selfcare includes: eating when hungry (the foods your body requires), stopping when full; 7-8 hours’ nightly sleep; moving your body; limiting screens, games, alcohol, recreational drugs; nurturing relationships; taking emotional medicine; making time for nature, creativity, etc. If you’re like most, some regimens will be easier to maintain than others. And, sure, sometimes big deadlines leave little space for your needs. But if you’re continually running on empty, you’re hurting yourself and you likely have deeper issues requiring attention.
Here’s the tip. First, see if you’re ready to take steps toward healing. If yes, be gentle. Exploring selfcare deficits usually leads to uncovering early experiences of caretakers’ not being there for you... emotionally and/or physically. Find a tender ear to explore these wounds. You don’t want to be alone with this. Seek professional help if necessary
Once supported, look for the healthy anger that arises when you acknowledge you weren’t adequately taken care of as a child. Sad, mad, scared feelings may arise. Allow them to move briefly through your body. Yell, stomp, privately pound your way to release. In safe, responsible, imaginal ways, turn that righteous anger back where it belongs…onto those witting or unwitting neglectful/abusive/inadequate caretakers. Watch for guilt…yes, you loved them and it may be hard to be angry…this is complicated. And, you’re big enough to manage it all.
Finally, feel the relief that follows lancing this emotional boil. Notice your breathing ease, your body relax. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Now, you are free to take care of yourself.