I recently watched Christopher Robin (as I’m a sucker for animated movies). As others in its genre, its message was about how it’s not our work life that we’ll remember when old, but the moments we had fun. But, it was more than that. People watch the movie, decide in that moment that ‘Okay, I’ll make a change’, do it once or twice, and forget about it. Why though? Self-care is a regular practice, not an item to tick off the bucket list (unlike bungee jumping or parasailing).
As a caregiver, be it a personal role or a professional one, we are impeccable about making sure that our patient or loved one is well-provided for and comfortable. We often put our own needs on hold to care for them. However, unless we take care of our needs, we cannot fulfil the needs of another – just like we can’t pour from an empty pot. Extending the same emotional investment to ourselves will enable us to feel better, function at work better, and give more, right?
Sometimes, we need a reminder to be aware of our emotional needs and being understanding towards them. When we are overwhelmed, we need a moment to step away, process, and get back to work. It can be a day off, or a minute to change the environment we are in. Very often, our productivity improves after we get back from a break.
While watching Christopher Robin, I felt a profound sense of gratitude that as professional caregivers, we are understanding and encouraging about taking time off to focus on our mental health. I have these attachments as my desktop background to remind myself to take a break. The attachments include a wheel of self-care with plenty of options.
Let’s chart out our own self-care rituals for some me-time each day. It can be 15 minutes or an hour – with as many variations in activities as we need. Gotta do what makes us feel relaxed and happy when doing the activities of our choice! Let’s refill our teapots every day, and serve our best tea to all 🙂
This article has been written by Ms Nandita Seshadri, a therapist, and integral part of Adveka Foundation.