Giving Back to Self

Over coffee a new friend, who is just one month younger than me, was talking about working fewer days.

Like so many of us she clearly felt a bit uncomfortable about publicly saying that she would not be working and went on to say that she was thinking of doing some volunteer work to give back something.

I am not sure where it came from but I looked at her and spontaneously remarked that what she could be thinking of doing with this time was actually giving back to herself.

My friend was overwhelmed by the notion and close to tears as she cautiously considered this possibility.

Our society admires those who give back to society in some way but is not so quick to acknowledge the need to give to ourselves. Many people are afraid that if they put their needs first, they’ll actually become narcissistic and will be tagged as a member of the ‘me society’.

Perish the thought of being self aware.

When I checked online there was remarkably little about self care. I did find a few things.

  1. Daily Om 
  2. First Ourselves – Sweet Surrender
  3. 101 Artist’s Date Ideas
  4. Carers Guide – Queensland, Australia
  5. Soul Food Cafe promotes caring for creative self

Perhaps you have some thoughts on responsibility fatigue or can suggest the properties that should be in the forrmula provided to those who feel decidedly depleted.

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10 responses to “Giving Back to Self”

  1. Jill says :

    Gosh this struck a bell with me – I remember a friend of mine telling me, when I first became ill, that I had never learned to look after myself, always too busy ‘doing’ for others. It made me stop and think that’s for sure but I still haven’t got it sussed – I shall give this one a lot of thought and, hopefully, get back to you 🙂 – Great subject to raise!

  2. imogen88 says :

    Yes, this is a tough one, and a need for balance is right. Good points, Heather.

  3. Jill says :

    Thought just occurred – one of many naturally – it’s about giving ourselves permission isn’t it – seems that can be a real struggle on several fronts.

  4. traveller2006 says :

    I think learning to say no to other people’s demands/requests is something we all find hard to do. We are so used to giving of ourselves and being there for other people that we forget that we are important too and deserve a bit of TLC from time to time. It can be very exhausting when you are giving all the time and perhaps people whose health is a bit on the fragile side need to learn how to be able to say no more than the rest of us. Perhaps we all need to slow down a bit too. As we get older it’s more difficult to rush around being busy and doing things. A friend of ours is constantly reminding us that we should take the time to stop and smell the roses.

  5. zazazu says :

    Thanks for linking back to the Artist Date ideas. 🙂 Hope you can use some of them.

    Though that list was written a while ago, I think often of ways to take better care of myself and show myself self-love. Glad to find your blog. Cheers!

  6. soulsister says :

    This is really a great topic to raise for discussion Heather. We women tend to do so much for others and continually neglect our own needs. Even from a purely logical point of view, this doesn’t make sense, as if we keep depleting ourselves then eventually we will be running on empty, get sick and then need to be taken care of! So the common sense solution is that in order to take care of others we must look after ourselves! [Sounds good in writing, doesn’t it? Wish I could take my own advice!!]
    Here’s one of my favourite inspirational blogs : http://alwayswellwithin.com/
    I find her words to be always inspiring.

  7. Sally says :

    I learned about self care years ago but forget to do it. It took awhile to be able to say no without guilt and feeling like a bad person. It was easier when I learned that doing too much for people interferes with the paths they have chosen. Instead of racking up good karma points you are doing the opposite.

  8. pearlz says :

    Heather, this is so true to think of nurturing not only others but oneself as well, I like the sounds of Daily Om.

  9. A. Renee' Holmes says :

    Society has no problem taking care of our autos through regular auto maintenance so that it will perform properly and take care of us. That same concept should be applied to taking care of ourselves (self-maintenance) so that we can continue to nurture and serve others. We must nurture ourselves first or we will be of no effect to others.

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