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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Being Good to Yourself

by Deah on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:48 AM

As I stated in my last blog I have recently been looking at eating healthier and getting more exercise as being good to myself. I am one of those that have learned every trick in the book to punish myself when I am stressed and that is usually through food. I am beginning to look at my life and say if I am not good to me than no one else is going to do it. I feel like I have always tried to be good to those around me and not really looked after myself. The time is NOW! Now or never at this point in my life.

In a natural human process I often find myself taking care of everyone around me, yet not spending near enough time being good to myself. The last few weeks I have found that when I make the effort to take time for myself I feel better. I have stopped punishing myself with unhealthy food and am trying to eat better. That alone is a large boost. Not only do I feel better, I am happier and have so much more energy. And when I do get off track I notice the difference in how I am feeling which helps me to get back on track easily. I have always felt guilty for taking time out to prop my feet up for a while or taking time to read, which other than gardening is my favorite pastime. Speaking of gardening- that brings me so much joy that spring and summer are a natural boost for me anyway. I have found that listening to my favorite music has an uplifting effect on me too. The most uplifting for me is gospel music. There are so many things, both big and small, that we can do to be good to ourselves. I am looking forward to getting a Mani and Pedi before I go on vacation in a few weeks. Treat yourself to something that will make you feel refreshed and well taken care of.

I guess it can be said that I am learning to love myself. When we do learn to love ourselves we stop filling that void inside with food and other things that are unhealthy for us. One could say that it comes down to developing a positive sense of self-esteem. Accepting myself for who I am and not who I think others want me to be is uplifting. Many of us are unnecessarily hard on ourselves for our own personal reasons. I know I am personally guilty of being unkind to myself listening to that inner voice that engages me in negative self-conversation. Where does this beating myself up come from? I stopped to ask myself that and came up with some things that happened as a child. If these things that we find as the cause are no fault of our own we should learn to recognize that and give ourselves permission to say it was not my fault so why do I feel this quilt and punish myself for it. We all have doubt sometimes and wish to improve certain aspects of ourselves and that is normal. However, when we think of ourselves as worthless the consequences will eventually affect our mental well-being, our health and our relationships. I have found that for me being good to yourself means taking care of yourself.

Being good to ourselves does not mean that every day is going to come up roses. I am learning to be patient with myself when I am having an off day or give myself permission to have a bad day. Allowing myself to have an off day is not a bad thing. This does not mean that I give myself permission to feel worthless again, sitting around eating bonbons all day but use this time to be my own cheerleader. Being kind to myself means that I am going to respect my body by eating healthier, getting enough rest, exercising, and taking time to do the things I like to do. I love hiking and biking but because my husband is not a fan I do not partake in these activities. This summer I am going to purchase a bike and if I have to I am going to do a couple local hikes on my own. Being kind to ourselves mean not holding ourselves to impossible high standards. I am putting an end to comparing myself to others or what I perceive things should be and stop beating myself up.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
– Stacey Charter


Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.


Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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