I recently did a podcast (to be aired 2018) where I discussed self-care and during the podcast, the lady I was interviewing (Sophie Coulthard), gave me a wedding cake analogy to explain why self-care is important.
It’s the best analogy I have ever heard and I’m going to explain why shortly.
But firstly, what is self-care?
Meaning of Self-Care
It’s kind of obvious what self-care is, but for avoidance of doubt let me explain it to you also.
Self-care means looking after yourself.
Looking after your physical health.
Looking after your mental health.
Looking after your spiritual health.
As I recently said to BT when they asked me about self-care:
“Self-care is about an individual on their own, or with the help of others, protecting, enhancing and maintaining their both their physical and mental health or wellbeing,”
“All too often, when life is busy, people prioritise their wants and needs below everyone else’s.
“Take the example of oxygen masks on a plane. There is a reason why we are encouraged to place our own masks on first before we attend to anyone else. It’s because if you’re not functioning properly, you’re of no help to anyone else. The same principle applies for self-care.”
Why Self-Care is Overlooked
Generally, self-care is overlooked because people are busy.
Juggling full time work, children, a relationship and family commitments can be exhausting and the first thing to fall foul of this “busyness” is ourselves.
We simply don’t look after ourselves.
We know the initial results of this will be falling ill, but do you appreciate the long-term effect on yourself?
Wedding Cake Analogy
This is where the wedding cake analogy comes into the equation:
If you picture your life like a wedding cake with the bottom tier being self-care and the remainder tiers above being everything else: kids, relationship, family, work, success etc.
Put simply, if you don’t maintain the integrity of the bottom tier of the wedding cake (your self-care) then everything else is going to topple over.
It’s as simple as that.
If you’re not looking after yourself in the long-term then all those other elements of your life will be negatively affected.
Becoming a parent is classic example of when self-care can be forgotten.
What with late night feeds, sleep deprivation and after school clubs, life can become a whirlwind of kid’s parties with not much room for anything else.
But if you persist along a path of “juggling” you will eventually drop and it won’t just be you that is suffering it will be those closest to you also.
Think about when you’re at your best, I can imagine you can tackle the world because you’re feeling good? When you feeling at your best you’re in a position to not only feel good about life in general but you are in perfect position to help other people also.
So, this is my point.
Self-care is a survival skill that you owe not just to yourself BUT to other people also.
So, the next time you’re feeling frazzled and being pulled in too many directions what are you going to do?
STOP and assess your level of self-care.
It’s something you need to do not just for you, but for all of those people around you.