Taking care of yourself is not a selfish act #FootnoteToMyself #4

Does this sound familiar?

look after yourself You give so much of yourself that you’re ready to break.

You ignore the signs of an imminent crash.

You boast that you can survive on a few hours sleep, despite the tell-tale bags under your eyes.

Busyness—and being busy—is your signature.

You don’t realise that you’re not much fun to be around.

This reads like the perfect recipe for making bad life decisions, for living a life unfulfilled.

Sure, there will be dire situations that require us to effectively put our own lives on hold while the needs of others are greater. This is inevitable unless we plan on breezing through life without a care in the world for others.

And who wants to do that?

Self-care: get rid of the guilt

Conversations around our dining table at Sharing Bali often reveal a dilemma shared by many in the lead up to booking on to a Sharing Bali retreat.

“I spent so much time wrangling with the guilt over having pure ‘me time’… away from the people who depend on me.”

But this begs the question: how can we hope to take care of others when we can’t take care of ourselves? How can we hope to be there for others, if we can’t be there for ourselves?

Taking care of your own physical health is obvious, but often forget about the things that aren’t so obvious. What about the need for space and quiet contemplation, time for personal creativity and replenishment, or even the unrestricted joy of a few laughs with dear friends, or time to engage our inner child and just simply play with the dog?

Find your sweet spot

How we take care of ourselves is very individual. What works for one person may not necessarily work for others.

The best way for me to look after myself is to do some solo travel, to go off exploring on my own.

It restores my sense of self.

It rebuilds my confidence.

Nobody knows who I am. No expectations. Just me.

I find out what I’m really capable of …. can I find my way through a difficult situation? Can I problem solve when there’s no one there I can depend on?

I meet new people. They all have a story to tell—expanding my mind and my tolerances.

Tossing my gear in a bag and jumping aboard the next plane, ship or just walking into the wilderness without any cares in the world is not always an option, though. A  walk around the park, along the beach, around the block, through the local village will do it (have you seen the village that is adjacent to Sharing Bali?) or a hike in the mountains (have you seen the mountains that surround Sharing Bali?).

Solo travel. That idea scares many people. But it shouldn’t. It’s empowering and liberating.

Travelling solo is where I feel most alive. And in tune. And in touch. It’s replenishing.

So repeat after me: taking care of yourself is not a selfish act.

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