Treat yourself as you would others

I know, the Golden Rule. “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”  When I hear this I think, be kind, courteous, patient and understanding. Generally, other people will also treat you that way. If you are a jerk and rude, people will be rude to you.

What I am talking about is self care. I am a mother. I tend to put my family first. I put the things I want to do at the end of the list. Sometimes. Sometimes, it’s important that I do certain things. I also try to take care of myself as if I were my own child (or husband). That means, if I am hurt or in pain, I go to the doctor. I get regular check ups at the dentist. I get enough sleep and eat healthy. There are all the things I make my children do to be healthy and happy. Plus, love, affection and fun.  How many of you don’t do these things for your self?o-kindness-facebook

I have encountered numerous clients who treat themselves as non-entities. What they need does not matter. If they are hurting they do not seek assistance. They suffer. If they are stressed, they don’t take the time to manage it or deal with it. Rest, food, clean living space, kind friends, etc are not priorities. They just don’t deem themselves worthy of proper self care.

Would you allow a child to go without any of those things? Someone you LOVE? If your (or any) child was hungry, would you not do what it takes to get him/her fed? Make sure they were safe and cared for? People outrage over neglected and abused children. We are all children. We all need the same kinds of basic care. We should do more than shove our needs to the side as if they do not matter.

They matter. YOU MATTER. Take as much time for your self as you would to care for someone you love.

Vacation healing

Since I just returned from vacation, I thought I would write about the virtues of taking one. Actually, vacations do have healing power. There are two important aspects to this healing that I will focus on, bonding and relaxation.

Bonding

The Bonding aspect refers to the time one spends with family, important people, or eventhemselves.

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Often in life we get very busy with all the daily “stuff” that needs to be accomplished: working, cleaning, shopping, caring for kids, etc. Relationships can be easily pushed to the back burner or left on the couch. We call watching TV together “quality time” because are just too tired to put much effort forth. This can go on for so long that it becomes usual.

Vacations put a stop to the “usual” of life. It causes major disruption in our routine. Which is the point. It is the time to get away from the grind and enjoy ourselves and our loved ones. Vacations in any form should have you spending real quality time in face to face conversations, talking about your feelings and future together, enjoying activities as enrichment and bonding. It can be quite difficult to carve out some really good quality time for all of this with your family or loved ones.

Relaxation

The Relaxation aspect refers to taking time to destress, let go of the worries and daily concerns in exchange for giving your self healing time and energy.

As well as being distracting, daily stuff can also cause significant stress. Keeping track of money, kids, spouses, and laundry can be tedious. Not to mention your job, the giant to do list, your angry sister or neighbor, and your own negative feelings. Stress impacts us endlessly and in various degrees. Stress also has a cumulative effect. If it is not managed regularly, it builds up and impacts us emotionally, physically, psychologically and relationally.

Vacation allows us to let go of the daily stuff is a psychological sense. I choose (and recommend to others) to take vacations away from the house so as not be tempted to do any kind of housework or other projects that may call while at home. I like to have no obligations in a vacation for the purpose of relaxing. The main advantage of vacation would be the removal of the stressors. You may choose any other activity you like to relax while on vacation, reading, sleeping, touring, riding, sight seeing, etc. Those are added benefits to increase your enjoyment and decrease your stress.

Note, a vacation does not have to be expensive, far away, exotic, or long term. It can be whatever it is that physically takes you out of the daily grind to spend quality time with loved ones. It should not increase your stress burden by taking more time or money than you have to give.