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Dr. Pacik

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
~ Mandy Hale

Self-care is like the airplane oxygen mask that in the event of an emergency we first fasten to ourselves before we can take care of another. If we don’t take responsibility for our own care, then really we’re not in a state to take care of anything. Many times it’s in the rush of personal and social interaction when self-care goes by the wayside. One of the key signs of codependency and addiction is self-abandonment. Are we eating right, getting enough sleep, grooming, exercising, cleaning home and car? How about setting appropriate boundaries, and pausing before reacting? We can have so many issues around these acts, especially if they weren’t effectively modeled for our unique autonomous development.

Sometimes we abandon our own care to focus on others with the hope we’ll be inspired, blessed, or the person we save will return the favor out of gratitude. Cut out the middleman! The best any of us can do for others is to take care of ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. When we feel spiritually healthy, chances are we’re better apt to define our genuine needs and goals. It can take time to learn to trust and not sabotage true presence of mind.

One of the most important aspects of self-care is communication, knowing that each person you’re with is trustworthy. Sexually, self-care involves attending to your own sexual health and pleasure, and knowing when and how to say no even though your body might be saying yes, and vice-versa! If a past history of ignoring self-care has contributed to major problems you’ve faced, then an inventory of these issues might be in order. Not to punish yourself, which is the antithesis of self-care, but to truly understand your inclination. Why might you have an uncaring attitude toward your own needs? Where does your negligence originate? These are all substantial questions that you can explore, and are themselves a healthy part of self-care.

• List the priorities in your life. Consider how each priority impacts your self-care. Address any discrepancies. See that you’re getting enough food, water and sleep each day. Usually if we think we’re saving time by ignoring our own needs, our lack of energy will create the opposite effect.
• Do you need to discuss your unmet needs with your partner? If a partnership isn’t reciprocal, it’s not a partnership. State your needs, and listen to the needs of your partner. See any conflict through the lens of respective self-care.

From the MIRROR OF INTIMACY book The Daily Meditation Book by Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss