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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Self Care: Feeling Entitled to Take Care of Yourself

Stress is a normal part of everyday life.  As long as you're alive, there's no way to avoid experiencing stress.  Since you can't avoid stress, it's important to have effective ways to manage your stress before you become overwhelmed.  



Self Care:  Feeling Entitled to Take Care of Yourself

To effectively manage stress, you have to find what works for you in terms of self care.  But in order to do this, you need to feel entitled to take care of yourself rather than focusing on others (more on this later). 


Feeling Overwhelmed By Stress?
Tips For Stress Management and Self Care
Self care involves both taking care of yourself both physically, emotionally and, for many people, spiritually:
  • Going for regular medical and dental checkups
  • Eating nutritious meals
  • Making sure you get enough sleep (usually 7-8 hours per night)
  • Engaging in healthy physical activity, like going to the gym or to a gentle yoga class
  • Having a way to quiet your mind, like in mindfulness meditation
  • Writing down your thoughts in a personal journal
  • Having a strong emotional support system among friends and family
  • Taking breaks during the day at work
  • Going on vacation to get away from your daily routine
  • Going for walks
  • Getting out into nature
  • Listening to music
  • Reading books you enjoy
  • Taking a relaxing bath
  • Learning to be tactfully assertive in terms of taking care of yourself, including learning to say "no"
  • Taking time for yourself during the day 
  • Finding meaning in life and a purpose larger than yourself
Feeling Entitled to Take Care of Yourself
Many people don't feel they're entitled to take care of themselves because they were raised to feel that they should put other people's concerns before their own.  When they try to engage in self care, they feel guilty and self indulgent, as if they should be doing something for someone else.

People Who Don't Feel Entitled to Self Care Often Feel Unlovable

Often, when people don't feel entitled to self care, the underlying issue is "I don't feel good enough" or "I'm unlovable."  Most of the time, this isn't a conscious thought, but it's the self sabotaging thought that keeps them stuck.

Getting Help
If you struggle with these feelings, you might need the help of a licensed mental health professional to resolve this issue.  The consequences of not taking care of yourself can be serious both physically and emotionally.

Aside from the many illnesses that can develop if stress overwhelms you and compromises your immune system, you're more likely to experience anxiety or depression at some point in your life.

Unfortunately, not feeling lovable, good enough or entitled to self care is a common problem.  So, if you feel this way, you're not alone.  But the good news is that there is effective treatment for this problem, and many people have successfully overcome feelings of inadequacy.

Many People Have Gotten Help to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy, and You Can Too

You can get help too.  I've included three professional websites below under "Resources" which include directories of therapists for clinical hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing and EMDR, three treatment modalities that I've found to be very effective in dealing with emotional trauma, including feeling of inadequacy.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:  josephineolivia@aol.com.

Resources:
Clinical Hypnosis:  American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
Somatic Experiencing: Somatic Experiencing Training Institute
EMDR:  EMDR International Association



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