“I lied and said I was busy.
I was busy;
but not in a way most people understand.
I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.
I was busy calming a racing heart.
I was busy telling myself I am okay.
Sometimes, this is my busy -
and I will not apologize for it.”
The term self-care is used often in media. I want to clarify that self-care is not simply attending to one’s basic needs for sleep, food, hygiene, and shelter. It is also not consumerism such as splurging on a new Louis Vuitton purse, drinking fine champagne or a shopping spree. Sorry “Confessions of a Shopaholic” lovers! Genuine self-care includes taking time for one’s health and well-being such as emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually, creatively, in the workplace and professionally, in relationships and in a balanced way.
I read an interesting article that stated self-care is for “girls”. It caught my eye. I notice in my psychotherapy practice that women struggle with guilt related to attending to their self-care. Men easily transition into self-care. In a heartbeat, they go to the gym, hit the golf course, cycle or play pickleball. In society, women are judged negatively for taking time for themselves, rather than caring for others. Despite these double standards, men and women ask yourselves what exactly you do for self-care and how often? Many of my clients get a wake-up call when they complete my self-care assessment questionnaire.
When I first did the questionnaire, my professional and creative self-care were excellent but my spiritual and physical self-care were lacking. Completing this survey made me see where I could improve. I made a few simple tweaks like drinking enough water, a quick yoga video three times a week, walking during my lunch hour and listening to inspirational speakers when I drive. It was not a lot of time investment, just a different focus. The results have been very beneficial for my health and balance.
Many of my clients feel guilty about taking time for themselves. However, some people wrongly learn at a young age that taking time for oneself is selfish. When this happens, we collaborate on increasing self-compassion and acceptance. We work on turning down the volume of their inner critic and judge through art therapy. A little self-compassion goes a long way.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ―Buddha
Attending art therapy is an excellent form of emotional and creative self-care. It is a safe space to share and learn a variety of coping tools. Think of increasing your self-care as a devotion to self-improvement and well-being. If you would like more information on Art Therapy Guelph and how we can help you, contact us today for a free get-acquainted chat.