Saturday, June 19, 2010

Self Care Primer: Social Self Care

“Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them - these are the best guides for man” –Albert Einstein

Can you imagine what the world would be like if you were the only person in it?

“Lonely” and “meaningless” are the two words that come to my mind when I try to fathom that scenario. The thought causes me a little bit of panic too, as I consider what I would do if I didn’t have my husband or my son or the other important people in my life whom I care for and who care for me.

Ultimately, our relationships-other people- give our lives purpose.

Social self-care is about the nurturing and growth that we derive from our relationships with others. It is about our contribution to the lives of those we are committed to and responsible for and what benefit we bring to our communities and society.

It is about quality. On the whole, all humans have value and are worthy of our consideration, but good social self-care dictates that we discern between those who bring real value and meaning to our lives and those who detract from it. The quality of people we bring into our close personal circle matters!

People who practice good social self-care surround themselves with people who contribute positively to their lives. In turn, they share their own gifts that convey love, encouragement, validation as they seek to make the world a better place in which to live.

A few tips for practicing social self-care:

• Ultimately, social self-care starts with being comfortable with and liking yourself as a person. The more respect and value you have for yourself, the more you will be able to discern and attract others who possess the same qualities and the more beneficial your gift will be to others

• Surround yourself with positive, healthy people who validate you! Limit the time you spend with people who do not!

• Get involved in your community – volunteer!

• Make sure that you spend time with the people you love – make them your priority. Make sure they know how you feel about them.

• Encourage others to follow their dreams, to try again if they fail, and applaud their accomplishments.

• Assume good intentions. Believe that the majority of people in the world are good and mean well.

• Set healthy boundaries. Saying ‘no’ or asking for help when commitments or people overwhelm you is okay!

• Expose yourself to the influences of a wide variety of people. Open yourself to the views of different cultures, ages and belief systems.

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