Self-care is Self-advocacy
I don’t often make a list of resolutions for the new year, but I do think of one thing that I want to improve.
I find that simply replacing the word “change” with the word “improve” allows me to place less pressure on myself regarding that specific action.
For 2020, the one thing that I want to improve upon is my mindset around self-care - specifically to see myself as an advocate for myself.
I still experience feelings of guilt from time to time around my daily self-care activities. As we all get the same number of hours in a day, when I choose my self-care activities, that means that other things on my list do not get completed/accomplished, etc. I need to acknowledge that its priorities over “shoulds” and that my self-care is a priority versus I should spend more time with the kids.
I know in my heart of hearts that each self-care activity is so important for my mind, body and soul.
I need to remind myself that I am the only person who will advocate for my own self-care.
My husband loves me, but he won’t advocate for my self-care.
My kids love me, but they won’t advocate for my self-care.
My parents love me, but they won’t advocate for my self-care.
My friends love me, but they won’t advocate for my self-care.
This highlights how important self-advocacy is for self-care.
The SelfAdvocateNet has a great definition of self-advocacy:
Self-advocacy is the ability to speak-up for yourself and the things that are important to you. Self-advocacy means you are able to ask for what you need and want and tell people about your thoughts and feelings.
The goal of self-advocacy is for you to decide what you want then develop and carry out a plan to help you get it.
As caregivers, we advocate for our loved ones all the time. In fact, we turn into proud warriors when advocating for your loved one. Let’s use this same energy and determination when thinking about our own self-care.
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As we all know, caregiving doesn’t discriminate against age, race, religion or sexual orientation. Therefore, there are lots of opinions, ideas, experiences and perspectives that come to the caregiver table.