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  • Kim Keys, LCPC

Self Care Requires Discipline

Self care requires discipline in the same way going to the gym requires discipline. We hear so many of our clients say “I’ll do self care once I get through this. I don’t have time for it right now.“ The problem with that is that self care only works when we use it during the times we actually need it.

But why self care? Before we go into how to use self care, I think it’s important to talk a little about why it’s so important to ourselves and our relationships. There are two simple answers to that. The first is preserving your energetic bandwidth and the second is self-esteem.

Let’s talk about energetic bandwidth first. Most of us have people in our lives who we truly care about and want to show up for in their lives. We are unable to do that when the reserves of our energy are depleted. The analogy I give many of my clients is a well or a battery. A well needs to be refilled from time to time and a battery recharged in order for either to remain effective. Self care refills you, recharges you, so that you can be there for the people you love. In fact, it’s a necessity to truly authentic relationships that we take care of ourselves.

The second reason may seem more obscure; self-esteem. Consider for a minute that what we choose in life we also value. So, it stands to reason that when you choose yourself, you begin to learn to value yourself.

Many of my clients get stuck trying to figure out how to integrate self care in their already busy schedules. Start with scheduling it! Pull up your schedule, and in the same way you would schedule a meeting with a colleague, begin scheduling your self care. It might sound like this, “Siri, schedule Tuesday 3 o’clock massage,“ or “Siri, schedule a walk at lunch.“

And, of course, the important part about schedules is that we keep them. Nothing that comes up on your schedule is more important than your self care. You are not allowed to cancel. You can reschedule, but you cannot cancel. Try running a self care scheduling experiment for a month and see how you feel at the end of it. Then take the pulse of your relationships at the end of it. My guess is you’ll notice a significant difference in both.

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