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Letting Go And Moving On: Why Self-Care Doesn’t Equal Selfish

When we are in the process of mourning a loss and working upon letting go and moving on, it’s essential we practice self-care. Many think of self-care as selfish however when we are low we need to look after ourselves before we are able to look after anyone else. When I was a stewardess I was taught in training that in the event of a plane crash, passengers with children needed to put their oxygen mask on first, as otherwise they would pass out before being able to put on their children’s mask.


It is exactly the same principal when we are suffering from loss. We first need to ensure we are emotionally stable before tending to others needs. Of course daily responsibilities should be seen to, like taking your children to school or feeding your pets, but the wider responsibilities of daily life – such as giving friends lifts or helping a friend revise their resume – need to wait. After all, if you are unable to meet your own emotional needs, how can you to help anyone else effectively?


A good analogy is to think of yourself as a bucket. When you are emotionally drained your bucket is empty and so you are unable to fill up others buckets because all of your resources are depleted. First fill up your own bucket and then you will be in a position to help others.


When your emotional bucket is empty you need to nurture yourself. Treat and pamper yourself.


Talk with friends and family for emotional support.


Finally, work through the five steps below (as discussed in all Monday posts this month) to set foot on the path to recovery:


  1. Accept the situation you are in, see it for what it is and practice self-compassion
  2. Socialize again
  3. Take up hobbies
  4. Create goals
  5. Imagine a happy, meaningful and fulfilling future


Have you ever viewed self-care as being selfish? When you are low do you practice self-care? What do you do to treat and pamper yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.


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