Since becoming a parent, whenever I feel overwhelmed by stress, household minutia, and/or the seeming inability to pee or shower in private, I repeat the airline mantra, “Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” Moms are notoriously challenged in tending to their own needs; today, Tracy offers thoughts on how to work towards better self-care (and she’s a doctor, so listen up!):
“One of my biggest struggles as a mom, and really, for my whole life, has been how to take care of myself, so that I can take care of those who need me. These days, those who need me are primarily my husband and children. As a clinical psychologist in a new private practice, however, I am increasingly giving of myself to others on what can seem like an almost constant basis.
Professionally, my occupation demands much of who I am as a person. My style of interaction, the challenge of being attuned and empathic for clients is required each and every hour I spend with a client. At the end of the day, my reality is that I then go home to a husband and two boys who also will want some of that attunement and empathy. We’ve all had a long, hard day. Some days, I am spent. It’s difficult to summon more empathy. Enter self-care. By making self-care part of my routine, day-to-day life, I can re-fill my cup and go on.
How do we begin to implement change toward greater respect for our own self-care? Here are a few thoughts to get you started: