Thank you for signing up for my free course, The Art of Self Care. I’m thrilled to have you here, reading the daily bits, and learning how to take better care of yourself when you’re so busy taking care of others.

Tell me, do you ever feel deprived?

(Deprivation is “the absence, loss, or withholding of something needed.”)

My bet is that you often do.

Deprivation sets in when you give your time, energy, love and care to others without attention or regard for replenishing your own inner resources. You may start out energized, giving love and attention to an aging parent, a child, a spouse, a job or a friend. This giving feels good, loving, virtuous, valuable, and prideful as well as many other meaningful and worthwhile feelings.

But what happens when you keep on giving and realize that you are not receiving the same emotional benefits?

 You may not have started out looking for a reward or recognition or even praise, but internally we are looking for the positive reinforcement of our worthwhile, good deeds. Deep down, we all want to know that we matter and make a difference. When the people you are caring for need more and more, and may not be showing gratitude or appreciation for all you do, that is when hurt, resentment, frustration and anger begin to build up. This causes compassion fatigue and burnout.

Today, you can start to reverse this trend.

Self-Care starts with self-awareness, and the importance of taking care of yourself with love, respect and compassion. This is the foundation from which everything else in this course will build.

If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you know that the safety instructions emphasize that should oxygen be required during the flight, and you are traveling with a dependent, place the oxygen mask over your face first.  

Your turn:
Today, and going forward, when faced with caring for your spouse, parent, child, job or friend, take these three steps:

Stop! Breathe! Focus!

Before you do or say anything, act as if you are placing an oxygen mask over your face. I just want you to become aware of your feelings and thoughts before you act.

In our next bit, we’ll discuss setting those healthy boundarie.

and we breathe…