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When helping can become harmful

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The idea of ​​self-care isn’t just about indulging in massages and facials or spending a week at a wellness retreat (although that’s all nice!); it goes beyond the lavish services we can buy, but rather how we can genuinely take care of our well-being on a fundamental level.

Currently, with so many responsibilities, deadlines, rising bills and external pressures, how does a person take time for their well-being? How can we even afford to take care of ourselves with the rising prices of daily necessities?

Wellness encompasses not only our physical health and is not only based on relaxation services, but also our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Many forms of self-care have no cost other than spending time on them. It can be as simple as turning off the music when you get home to have some quiet time with yourself, or the other way around, like listening to your favorite music to help lift your mood.

Another example is practicing deep breathing for a few minutes throughout the day to help calm your nervous system. Self-care can include taking a walk, drinking more water or tea throughout the day, going to bed earlier rather than staying awake and watching a crazy show, choosing a healthy snack rather than a transformed snack, to have dinner while being present with your loved ones rather than eating in front of the television or with a smartphone in hand, taking the time to keep a journal, draw or read, take the time to meditate, pray, or learn something that will uplift you, whether through religious or spiritual practice, or an inspirational story or motivational speech.

Did you know that saying “no” can be a major form of self-care? Some people have learned or conditioned growing up that to be a “good” person you have to constantly give to others. Let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with giving or helping others – it’s a nice act. Where the imbalance occurs is when a person is not able to say “no” and ends up hurting themselves by depleting their own resources (i.e. emotional, mental, physical, financial ). If someone’s metaphorical “cup” is emptied, what is left to give to others? Taking care of yourself is like filling your own cup so that you are not constantly in deficit when giving to others.