30 Jul

Sometimes being Selfish is about taking care of Yourself

Self care

Sometimes as therapists when we suggest to clients they need to be just a little bit selfish, it is met with a response as though we have suggested that they become a serial killer.  Society has placed a negative slant on the idea of taking care of yourself.  Self care means taking care of you so you have the energy to help take care of others.  It doesn’t mean being  uncaring, thoughtless or just giving up as the word selfish might suggest. Self care is different, it means placing value on you.

In an article by Pick the Brain, the author suggests some positive ways to be selfish.  When was the last time you were intentionally lazy?  Lazy could mean curling up in a Muskoka chair with a good book or binge watching on Netflix.

One of my favourite reads of the past few years is a book called The Art of Extreme Self Care.  In this Cheryl Richardson sets forth to get us to see self care as a necessity.

In a blog article on Healthy Minds Canada, the author simply states that Self Care is Not Selfish.  Taking the time to recharge gives a positive message to those around us.  It speaks to positive self esteem and the ability to prioritize yourself when it is needed.

I appreciate all the strong, vibrant women friends in my life who are able to say “no” to things that deplete them and “yes” to the things that give them energy.  The first step to this journey however is the wisdom to recognize the difference.

If you are having trouble distinguishing between self-care and selfishness then take a look at Friday’s Food for Focus: Ain’t no shame in the self-care game. It is a few questions that you can ask yourself.  Remember that self compassion can generate more compassion for others so it really is a win, win!



30 May

Accepting Who You Are


Accepting who you are is a step towards learning to love yourself.  It is human nature to look at our own flaws and hold ourselves to standards that we would never expect others to live up to.  In counselling a common theme is being unhappy with one self and judging.  If you don’t like you then why expect others to?  It seems simple but we tend to make it complicated. Accept yourself and be your own best friend.  If you are happy and caring to yourself then others are attracted to that energy.

In article Therapists Spill: 12 Ways to Accept Yourself, they suggest you identify and set your intention.  Intending to self nourish and celebrate your strengths and honestly embrace your vulnerability is a stepping stone to your new relationship with yourself.

Self Acceptance is about letting go of who you want to be or think you should be and just being. There are steps we can take to be kinder and more loving of ourselves. We can take action and move towards change and healthy improvements to our own self care and self concept.  On the blog Tiny Buddha, author Jasmin Tanjeloff  writes about Accepting and Loving Ourselves in 10 Simple Steps.   

In 8 Techniques for Self-Acceptance, author Leo Babuta suggests that our “happiness is determined by our level of self acceptance.”  Compassion and forgiveness for yourself is an important technique to practice. Let go of old grudges and forgive yourself for being human.

So to get started, begin your day with a positive affirmation or a short meditation.  This is simple but it reminds you everyday how you can make a difference by setting your intent and making it a positive one.

Affirmations should include a positive statement about yourself.  Something like I love and accept myself without question.  Here’s a short meditation (2 min) from Depak Chopra, A Positive Affirmation and Acceptance.  A little longer one (16 min) is excellent to focus on something your don’t like about yourself and expose that thought in a guided meditation for self acceptance


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