IS IT SELFISH TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE?

by Tina

What is self-care?  Webster merely defines self-care as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”  For many years, I defined self-care as a selfish act.  That’s it.  No further thought about a true meaning.  Just a selfish act.  Interesting, huh? 

I believe that this point of view about self-care comes from my people-pleasing personality.  I have always thought that I was supposed to put others before myself.  I still believe this; however, putting others first does not mean putting yourself in jeopardy.  Once I realized that I was exhausting every ounce of my energy on others while I was slowly yet literally wearing out, I had to learn that self-care is NOT a selfish act.  I actually had to discover its true meaning.  Another important fact is that I did not just realize this on my own.  When I encountered health issues that caused me to take leave from my corporate job, I actually learned about self-care.

Many of us with ADD/ADHD find ourselves trying to people-please.  I believe the reason for this can be attributed to several things.  One cause can be our lack of self-confidence.  We tend to people-please so that others accept us.  We want others to think of us in the highest regard.  This is very dangerous for those of us with ADD/ADHD because often when we people-please, these acts become expected as the norm from us.  Thus, we are put under even more pressure (usually by ourselves) to go beyond the “norm” that is now expected.  We are constantly pushing ourselves beyond the limits most people would never dare approach.  However, if we can experience just a taste of acceptance by others, we will continue with all of our might.  It can become a vicious cycle.

Another cause of people-pleasing can be that over time, we were not told that we were good enough much less ever complimented on our efforts.  We constantly feel that we have to prove ourselves to others when it is not necessary at all.  When one with ADD/ADHD is raised in an environment that is not nurturing to him or her or that never offers encouragement, one grows up feeling as if he or she is lacking in some way.  This can lead to the constant effort for approval and praise for one’s work.  In today’s society, it is more common to point out where things are wrong versus where progress occurs or where a job is well done.  How sad is this?!  It is SO important that we acknowledge each other’s successes rather than only pointing out faults or better, more efficient ways of doing things.

In addition, maybe people-pleasing comes from simply wanting to do much for others.  It could just be one’s nature.  That is a wonderful and admirable characteristic to have as long as one takes care of his or her needs as well.

We must remember that in order to be helpful to others, we must first take care of ourselves.  If we are running on empty, so to speak, we are not as effective in caring for others.  We also typically falter in many other areas of life simply due to a lack of caring for ourselves.

What are some ways we can practice self-care?  One way is to take time for you!  I know it sounds unusual, but it is worth it.  Even if this time is only 15- 30 minutes out of the day, it will serve a great purpose.  This time can be spent quietly resting, watching a funny TV show or movie, reading, journaling, talking with a friend, taking a nap, going for a drive, or anything you enjoy doing that is totally for YOU.  This time allows you to refresh and renew your thoughts and energy for the rest of the day.   

We also must make sure we eat properly during the day.  Many people with ADD/ADHD become so focused on what they are doing that they forget to eat!  I know some of you are thinking, “I wish that was my problem!”  No, you don’t.  I am one who forgets to eat during the day.  The results are my feeling very weak by the afternoon having to grab something to eat on the whim, which usually isn’t very healthy.  I also end up eating much at night, which isn’t good for me either.  It is best to try to eat 5-6 times throughout the day to keep your energy up.  No, each time you are not eating a full meal; however, you can have snacks of almonds, yogurt, or fruit at some of these times.  Then you also will not likely eat as much at meals, and your energy will be distributed more evenly throughout the day.

Rest is very important for everyone.  It is certainly important for those of us with ADD/ADHD.  Without rest, our ADD/ADHD symptoms are usually worse.  In addition, if there is stress, anxiety, or depression diagnosed along with your ADD/ADHD, lack of rest can make these symptoms much worse as well.

There are MANY ways we can practice self-care.  I have only scratched the surface here.  What are some ways you practice self-care?  Please share your ideas with us even if you do not have ADD/ADHD.  This topic is important for everyone.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Palomba

Sweet website , super design and style , real clean and utilise genial .

Reply

Tina

Thanks so much, Gary. I’m glad you enjoyed visiting my site. I hope you are able to come back to read more soon.
Tina

Reply

Rossie Frecker

I went over this web site and I believe you have a lot of fantastic information, bookmarked (:.

Reply

Tina

Hi, Rossie! Thanks so much for your comment and bookmarking my site! I will be writing more now that the holiday rush is over. Hopefully, you will be able to come back to read more.
Tina

Reply

Shantell Forde

Only wanna say that this is extremely helpful, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

Reply

Tina

Hi, Shantell.
I’m so glad you found the information on my blog helpful. I plan to be posting more now that the holiday rush is over. Hopefully, you will come back to read more.
Tina

Reply

Naoma Schlensker

And so instructive web-site! Large cheers! Many thanks designed for a lot of fun viewing your blog. The excellent satisfaction recognizing a niche site like that full of excellent information. Data!

Reply

Tina

Hi, Naoma!
Thanks so much for visiting my site! I’m glad you enjoyed reading. I will be posting again very soon now that the holiday rush is over. I hope you will return to read more!
Tina

Reply

Chris

Omega 3, niacin, cashews, chocolate (dark), NLP, brain wave entrainment, meditation, music, an occasional energy drink, exercise, etc.

Reply

Tina

Hi, Chris.
These are all wonderful ways to practice self-care. Thanks for reading and contributing to my post!

Take care of you.
Tina

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: