Do You Struggle with Self-Care? brought to you by contemporary retirement coaching

Is Self-Care Eluding You?

Do you take good care of yourself? Of course you do - or at least you think you do! If you have caring responsibilities - looking after an aging parent or grandchildren for example, you may not have realized, however, that the level of care you give yourself is actually quite poor, and in many cases, could even be considered as neglect. Your circumstances are forcing you to spend less time on yourself than you would like, and there are aspects of your life that are suffering as a result.

Before you can make a conscious effort to improve the level of care you give to yourself, however, you need to identify the areas you're deficient in. Let's see if you recognize yourself in any of the following scenarios...

Self-care may be eluding you if you find yourself doing any of the following things.

You Are Selfless

If you find yourself putting the needs of every single person ahead of your own, you're exhibiting a classic sign of self-neglect. By prioritizing everybody's needs but your own, you can find yourself feeling burnt out and/or resentful.

Though nobody likes a selfish person, let’s be realistic - you have to put yourself first sometimes. You may end up unable to do anything for anyone if you continue at this rate, not to mention resenting all the people you give up things for - a totally unhealthy cocktail.

Your Appearance Is Subpar

If you feel guilty for dressing up and doing your hair every now and then, again, self-care may be eluding you. You have the right to spend time on yourself. Whether that means indulging in a bubble bath for an hour, or moisturizing and doing weekly pedicures, it's a necessary part of your overall care.

Another typical symptom of this is the chronic habit of dressing in “wash and wears” or sweatpants and a t-shirt, which can make you appear sloppy and as if you don't care. Take some time every weekend to arrange your outfits for the coming week. You don't need to dress up every day - you ARE retired, after all, but if you wear something nice a couple of days each week, you'll feel better about yourself. This involves picking out accessories, shoes and ironing your clothes if needed. You are special - dress for the part.

You Don’t Have Friends

Not having a small circle of closely-knit friends that you can spend time with is another obvious symptom of poor self-care. Good friends are there not only through the good times, but also the bad and can be an invaluable part of your well-being. Whether this is your choice or something forced upon you by your circumstances, it's not healthy and ultimately affects your wellbeing.

You Feel Unfulfilled

You may be retired, have a home, a grown-up family and money in the bank, but still have the sinking feeling that you've achieved nothing (or not enough) in life. This could be the result of a lack of personal fulfilment - perhaps you never got the chance to complete your college education or to pursue a passion, or maybe you had a career which you simply didn't find rewarding.

Well guess what? There's no better time than retirement to get up and go after whatever it is that would fulfill you. No other person can achieve this for you, so carve out some time for yourself and go out there and get it!

You Don’t Exercise

This is one of the more serious symptoms of poor self-care, as it can directly affect your well-being on an emotional and physical level. Lack of exercise boosts the likelihood of negative health effects developing, reduces quality of life, and harms your appearance.

Simple exercise - such as walking - performed just 3 times weekly can help you maintain a healthy body weight and body composition, and is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

You Feel Life Is A Chore

The final symptom, that sums up the disregard you have for yourself and your situation is your lack of joy. Living brings you no real pleasure; you’re just going through the motions of life, without truly finding joy in the day-to-day moments.

You don’t stop to take in the views when you're out in the car, you don’t experience joy from little things your kids or grandkids may do, and only look forward to going to bed. Feeling as if life has no real purpose for you can not only make you sad, but can kickstart a cycle of negativity which can, in turn, spiral into depression.

Be Good to Yourself

Though self-care should be second nature, many of us have trained ourselves to ignore these instinctual behaviours and have replaced them (possibly through a sense of duty and/or feelings of guilt and responsibility) with more selfless habits and, often, a robotic pursuit of daily living.

We hear it often but, on a plane, you're told to put on your own oxygen mask first before attending to your children. In the same way, you need to be selfish sometimes and to consider your own needs on a more regular basis. It's only when your own needs and desires are met, that you can serve other people without resentment and bitterness setting in.

Created By
Ann Harrison


Created with images by kymerastudio - "Spa Accents" • Kai Hendry - "Carer" • sfbnurse - "bubble bath" • TheArches - "Govanhill photoshoot at the Arches, Glasgow: Laughing" • - "Bikes, Kitten, Exercise Ball" • kymerastudio - "Spa Accents"

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