Apr 23, 2013

Have you thought about it? Self-pity vs self-care

The difference between self-care and self-pity is the key to a positive outcome. "Self-care means paying attention to your needs and taking positive steps to look after yourself, emotionally and physically, when times are tough"says Dr Cecilia D´Felice in an article in Red Magazine. "Replacing self-pity with self-care begins with the understanding that we have the capacity to make ourselves feel better." I recently came across this great article and realised that I, and I guess many with me, don´t often think about the difference between the two concepts, and it´s really good to know the difference so that we can actively make a choice. "When you´re unhappy, though, it can be hard to distinguish between self-pity and self-care. Turning into your capacity of self-care means listening to your inner voice." Self-pity often comes from feelings of anger, hatred or envy and often starts a sentence with I never, It´s always or It´s not fair." Self-care is about being responsible for ourselves, explains Dr D´Felice. "When we feel sorry for ourselves, our fantasy is that someone will come and rescue us, from when we are tiny children we are told that a prince will come. But we don´t always realise that our "prince" is inside us - it´s our resourcefulness and our creativity, and so we are more than capable of rescuing ourselves."

How to learn self-care

According to Dr D´Felice there are some questions that we can ask ourselves in order to learn self-care:

What do I feel?
What do I need?
What can I give myself right now that will make this feel more manageable (food, sleep, exercise?)
How is this experience affecting me?

If we learn the art of listening to ourselves, and thereby our true needs, it will make self-care much easier, putting us back in control, which is far better off than self-pity:)

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