It is likely that you have heard the term self-care in your everyday life. What does this mean? Well, it literally means, taking care of our own self. The process of self-care does however take time and effort. It actually does require some work where we need to plan and set aside some time for ourselves. Also, we need to be self aware and recognize and notice when it is needed.
As I started my journey becoming a therapist, I found this very important. Juggling full time work, school work, and practicum while still managing social life was quite exhausting. At one point I felt myself not focused/not being present with the task and people around me. This naturally leads me to feel disconnected and more exhausted with my surrounding world.
Being a therapist you carry a lot of emotion. Being a caring person, it is hard to learn not to take back these emotions with you. We can be proactive, but sometimes it is hard not to when you have a close therapeutic relationship with your client and genuinely care for them.
Hence, I found that I had to really try hard and create time for my own self, in other words time for some self-care. I first understood that, when I need this, what is happening around my body, who gives me feelings of positivity and of course by practicing self-care I am able to be there for more clients.
Interestingly growing up and being raised in Japan we learned to take care of others before our own needs. This practice was culturally ingrained in me so it was also hard to notice myself sometimes. It didn’t mean I had to be selfish, it just meant, try and create some time and time management for my own self.
These self reflection when I recognized how tired I am helped me notice when I needed to take a moment for myself. These included painting, spending time with those that make me happy, hanging around with my cat(s), talking to a friend, exercise, playing video games, and even just walking outside. Even the smallest things of taking a deep breath has helped me to give myself space and moment to care for myself.
In this busy world today, we can forget to take a moment for ourselves. We are constantly moving in a busy world. We feel we need to stay “busy” and stay in a continuous on-switch. However, If we are not filling ourselves with fuel, how can we continue on?
My journey of becoming a therapist didn’t just allow me to help others but it also has highlighted a self reflection piece to my own care and give myself the fuel I need in order to be present for my personal and professional journey.
I hope that this blog can give those who are busy and constantly moving a space to slow down and create a moment to be kind to themselves.