Thoughts From MY Cluttered Mind offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Bipolar Disorder myself and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

“G” is for Guilt #atozchallenge



Ok, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind for this letter, but when I was looking for ideas, I came   
across an article about the guilt people feel when they take time for themselves.

It is an interesting phenomenon really; we give so much of ourselves to others and know we need to take time just to relax, recharge our batteries and be able to there for those who  need us.  The main obstacle thought is our self; we don’t do it.  I read a piece that talked about this in depth, saying that it is mostly women who struggle with self-care, to no one’s real surprise.   The article, titled "How to stop feeling guilty about self-care," mentions,    “We are surrounded by overt and covert messages that encourage us to minimize our own needs and feel guilty when we engage in self-care.”

Self-centeredness is what it is called when we take time for ourselves, when it is actually the best thing we can do.  We are taught that we should always be there for those  who need us, our families, friends, even strangers; however, the focus is not put on self-care.  Most people I think would not know where to start if asked what they would do with time off, or if they had to focus on their own life for a while.  It’s not how we are told to think. 

That is where the problem lies, we get tired and lose focus and in time begin to resent those around us for demanding our attention, when we are the ones who do not say no, or say this is not a good time.   The most important person we need to take care of is the person in the mirror, if they are not happy, rested, focused and treated well, there will be nothing left for anyone else. 

By no means is this an easy task, I have tried more time than I can remember to take the step in the direction of self-care, but easily fall away with the demands of the world.  It is something to look at though and see where you may be able to take time, even just a few minutes a day to sit back and breathe, forget about the house, chores, work and all those things that take our attention from what is most important.