Self-Focus, Self-Love, Self-Care
Make Them Priorities
Everyone deals with stress at some point in their life, and everyone reacts differently to the effects of stress. Physical manifestations may include headaches, fatigue, or difficulty sleeping. Overwhelm, irritability or depression might be felt. Some people withdraw, have angry outbursts, eat too much or too little. The current climate has most of us feeling stress and anxiety, and so now more than ever self-care must be made a priority.
Let’s explore the subtleties of the different buzzwords being bandied about.
- Self-Focus: the direction of conscious attention on oneself and one’s thoughts, needs, desires, and emotions.
- Self-Love: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).
- Self-Care: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
To me this is a 3-step process. Begin with conscious attention, determine what you need, and then take an active role in your well-being. All three of these steps are important, but it’s often the implementation of the third step, self-care, that is most difficult. And it’s generally the third step that is wrongly viewed by others as selfish. Rest assured that self-care is not selfish.
In order to practice self-care it’s important to recognize where you currently are — or are not — doing your best. There are dozens of assessments to be found online, but I like this one from Andrews University. It covers physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and professional areas of your life, and then provides a worksheet where you can plot your strategies. Psych Central reminds us that “good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
I can’t help you juggle everything that requires your attention, but I can take this moment to remind you of the need to slow down, pause, breathe deeply, and then practice self-focus, self-love, and self-care.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” ~ Brené Brown
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” ~ Katie Reed
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” ~ Unknown
RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP:
- 30-Day Happiness Challenge
- 30 days not enough? Hoe about a 365-Day Self-Care Challenge?
- 100 Strategies to Help with Self-Care
- Self-Love with 8 Notes of Appreciation
- 5 Reasons to Add Meditation to Your Self-Care Toolkit