“Never be ashamed to say, ‘I’m worn out. I’ve had enough. I need some time for myself.’ That isn’t being selfish. That isn’t being weak. That’s being human.” ~Topher Kearby
My extended family, with whom I have a very strong bond, immigrated to America from Vietnam years ago as permanent residents. Each family had one or two children. The children of these families were kind, loving, and nice.
Although I’ve learned so many things from my relationship with my extended families, this is one of my most significant lessons.
They struggled to navigate unfamiliar environments and the language barrier during their first year of residency in America. They had to struggle with the language barrier and adapting to their new life in America, just like most migrants.
I couldn’t bear seeing them struggle, so I decided to step in to help them through this huge transition they were facing. I took them to most of their doctor’s appointments, brought them to work on time, helped them out with school conferences for their kids, and supported them in the completion of other tasks that they weren’t able to do on their own.
I didn’t see this as a burden at all. It was quite the opposite. I had fun with them, because they are so dear to me.
If you’re like me, you will understand this. Helping people I love is what I do best, so I forget to take care of my own health. This slowly became a reality.
My energy was fueled by the love that I feel for my family. This made it easy to forget about how important it is to take care of myself. After a time of caring and supporting my family, I felt emotionally and physically depleted.
I couldn’t find an explanation for why I was feeling this way, so I decided to check in with my doctor. My doctor assured me that there was nothing I needed to be concerned about my physical health.
Once I had determined that I was well, I realized there was a more profound explanation. That’s when I knew my exhaustion was coming from overly helping and caring for my family. All of their daily activities, from the small to the major, were my responsibility.
It was at this moment that I heard a voice within my head say it was time for me to sit down and evaluate how my life was being spent. It was my only option to be happier and more healthy.
My well-being was my main concern. I made a conscious effort to bring about positive change in my daily life. I was stunned at the improvements to my emotional and physical well-being.
I didn’t want to leave my family hanging, so I made sure that I took the time to show their kids what they needed to know so that they could help their parents and themselves. It was clear to me that there were other relatives that could help with any task they required.
It took me a while to make this decision because I didn’t want to leave them without ensuring that they would be cared for. Their children were able to take over certain tasks and help their parents with their transitions.
It is possible to set healthy boundaries for the people and things you care about.
It is impossible to control the reactions of others to your actions, however hard you try. It will give you peace of mind knowing you do what is right for you.
For me, that meant taking better care of my health. I also took comfort in knowing that the choices I made for myself wouldn’t bring harm to anyone else. In time, I hope that my family will come to understand; but if they don’t, that’s okay too.
No matter where they are located, I’ll always wish them well and send the most beautiful blessings to them.
This experience taught me that caring for myself is the most effective way to help others. It may sound selfish and unnatural at the beginning. This may seem selfish or unnatural at first. However, over time you’ll realize you can be more competent in caring for others if you take care of yourself.
Once you master the art of self-care, you will find that you have more time and positive energy to put toward caring for those around you. Below are some suggestions to get you started in your quest for self-care.
1. Keep in touch with your emotions
If you’re honest with yourself about how you feel, you’ll be better able to meet your needs. It can be a challenge to be truthful with yourself and others about your feelings, but if you don’t, you’ll end up burnt out and resentful. My first step in taking care of myself was telling my family that I felt depleted.
Consider this: What is your current attitude towards my time and how it affects you? Are I being honest with myself and my priorities? Do I care how I feel about my giving? Do I give more than I get?
2. Spend some time with your friends.
You can’t spend all of your time alone and remain emotionally healthy. You can self-care by surrounding yourself in people that support, uplift and encourage you.
There are many factors that influence the ideal level of human contact. However, no matter how isolated you may be, human contact is vital because it brings joy, happiness and belonging.
Because I knew I wanted more time for mutual relationships, I made a schedule with some close friends to meet up.
Invite your family members and friends to call you to chat. You’ll feel more connected, and if you open up about what’s going on in your life, you’ll be able to receive support instead of always being the one who gives it.
3. You can spend quality time with yourself.
When you spend time alone, you’re able to get in touch with yourself on a deeper level. It allows you to take stock of your life, reflect on it, and create a plan to make any changes. This will help you accomplish your goals, and you’ll feel more grounded as a person.
It is up to you how much alone time you want. Although it can seem difficult to say no or refuse to attend gatherings, once you have found the perfect balance, you will be able to keep in touch with others while still pursuing your own goals.
4. Exercise regularly.
After deciding to prioritise myself, I pledged to stay active and fit. Personally, I enjoy pilates, weight training and long walks on the lake. Exercise makes me feel stronger and gives me more energy.
Any physical activity is better than nothing, but you’ll feel a lot better if you can devote thirty minutes each day to movement, whether you play a sport, dance, or participate in a group exercise class. Your body is designed to move, so when it’s not using its potential, it creates stagnation.
5. Manage stress.
You can take frequent breaks during the day to reduce tension and recharge your energy, before you tackle your next task. You should regularly check in with your body for any signs of stress. These include physical exhaustion and irritability, a loss of focus and mindless eating of junk food.
If you are concerned about your stress level, deepen your breathing or use any relaxation method that works for you.
It is my favorite thing to do: go for walks, get a massage and meditate. Writing out my stress and burning it off is what I enjoy.
Chanting is another stress-relieving practice I use often. It’s a healing method to help you clear any worries, stress, fears. My energy shifts when I sing for a while, and it brings me back to my more grounded self.
If you take on other people’s energy, you may want to practice energy cord cutting. It is as easy as visualizing yourself releasing a wire that connects you to someone draining you.
It is a great way to release stress. I highly recommend the Ho’opononopo practice; if you’re not familiar with it, you can go on YouTube and look it up.
Your self-care quality is an indicator of how well you are doing. It can help keep your mind and body in good shape. If you’re feeling down and out, give extra attention to your self-care. Your self-care is important and you deserve it. Regular self-care is a sign that you are truly aware of your worth.
About Jade Nguyen
Jade Nguyen is a firm believer that everyone deserves to be able to discover more about their own self and find balance through self-discovery. Bespoke Guidance provides the opportunity for clients to find peace, light and harmony, as well as to be more in tune with their intuition. It is possible to create abundance, happiness, express divinity, and heal others so that they can thrive and prosper. Visit her website www.sublimefeminine.com.
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Tiny Buddha published the post Five Simple, Yet Important Self-Care Tips that Can Transform Your Life