The Gift of Self Care

By Mary Jane Cronin

What have you promised yourself this year? To lose weight, to get a better job, to quit smoking? Maybe we should change our outlook and perception of our resolutions. How about we are going to be kinder to people? Maybe that we are going to volunteer for something we believe in. How about we are going to give ourselves some “self-love”. When was the last time you did something good for yourself? Go see a funny movie…and laugh. Laughter reduces stress! maybe plan to have lunch with a friend, or just lay by the pool and breathe?

While working with caregivers during my ten years with Suncoast Hospice, I discovered the importance of self-health care. When we are providing care for someone we love, a spouse, a parent, or even a special friend, we tend to focus on their needs. If they tend to get up at night or to wander, the caregiver does not sleep well for fear they may fall or wander off. I even saw a caregiver sleeping in the hospital with two chairs pulled together to sleep on. When asked why she did that, she replied “I didn’t want to leave my mother alone”. Often all the things we do for our loved ones, we forget to do for ourselves. Sleep, eat right, rest, get fresh air, and have some alone time to recharge.

Taking care of yourself is the number one way to take care of others we love. Think of it as a gift we give ourselves and others. If our mental or physical health is poor, we may not have the energy, the patience, or the desire to help others. Enjoy the New Year and begin with self-care.

Your body will thank you!

Mary Jane Cronin of Comforting Arms offers personal talk therapy services in person in Pinellas County or on the phone. Having the opportunity to talk out your frustrations, concerns and fears helps to begin finding solutions to those issues. To get more information or schedule your check-up please call her at 727-458-4781.

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