Game Enough to Self-Care. ~ Gail Goodwin

Via Gail Goodwinon Nov 15, 2013

Photo: zsófi B

Some people are too generous. Many give too much. They care too much.

Their overwhelming generosity costs them too much time, energy, space and money.

They put themselves last. Their physical, emotional, mental or spiritual health suffers and burn out is the result.

As a parent and teacher, I’ve discovered that over-care for others can jeopardize my self-care. It’s exhausting. A severe lack of energy affects my health. It also diminishes my optimistic outlook. The quality of my life and those around me is reduced. It’s a bizarre, catch-22 predicament, which means there are times when I am not game enough to care for others.

Self-honour is my solution. It’s a vital key to a satisfying life for me and the positive effects flow onto my family.

I have to come first.

It may seem selfish but let me tell you why I feel it’s good for everyone. I find it useful to think of me, and my life, in this way: everyone has four bodies. Each body has needs of it’s own. I have a physical body, an emotional body, a mental body and a spiritual body.

I am responsible for their care before I can offer adequate care to others.

I try to develop self-honour by taking care of my basic needs. Some basic human needs that I have found I must meet in order to develop and maintain good physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health are:

Physical Body

Getting enough sleep

Eating a balanced diet

Taking plenty of exercise

Emotional Body

Having regular fun

Spending time alone with me

Connecting with family, friends or community

Mental Body

Learning something new

Practising mindfulness

Meditation

Spiritual Body

Practicing gratitude

Finding meaning in each day

Realizing my purpose in each moment

The list of needs might seem overwhelming; it can be never-ending too, but if I tackle it one need at a time, it usually strengthens something else. If I make sure I get enough sleep, then I have enough energy to exercise. I like to walk and practice yoga, so when I have enough energy to do these things, I become stronger.

When I am physically strong, I feel confident in my ability to get things done. I feel good. When I feel good, my emotional body is in better shape. When I feel good, I can think clearly, so I am rarely stressed. It’s a good place to be when I want to practice gratitude, and it all begins with plenty of sleep.

One small act can have a huge impact on other areas of life.

It takes my four bodies to care for every other body. Rather than coming a very poor second, third or fourth place in the care game of life, by honouring myself, I put myself into first place. If I want to be ready, willing and able to care for others, then I have to create a win/win situation. I want to live a long and healthy life.

First place is the best place to be if I want to care for others.

Some people avoid caring for others, not because they don’t care, but because they care too much. They may not know their own limits, or they know them too well. It’s a challenge to establish and maintain personal boundaries around giving, taking and sharing.

Appropriate self-care comes from learning how to balance my needs and those of others. Over-care for those I love may mean under care for me. Self-honour means that I win.

When I win, everyone I love wins too.

Like elephant journal of Facebook

Assistant Ed: Miciah Bennett/Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo: zsófi B

About Gail Goodwin

Gail Goodwin is a body, soul and spiritual wellness expert. She believes that nearly every challenge contains a gift, and that one of life’s recurring challenges is to find the gift and utilise it to its potential. Gail’s books, “A Dialogue with the Soul” and “A Question of Balance” are available through her website or you can read them via her blogs: bodysoulspirit.com.au and gailgoodwin.com.au.   As an author, trainer and mentor, Gail has contributed health and wellness articles to numerous newspapers and magazines. She has been a yoga practitioner for 40 years. She lives with her husband in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia, with their grey fluff ball cat, two excitable dogs, and their six children that come and go. Visit Gail on Facebook or Twitter.

5,640 views

8 Responses to “Game Enough to Self-Care. ~ Gail Goodwin”

  1. aaron says:

    Thank you for writing this. This is so refreshing for me to read. I feel the same way!

  2. gailgoodwin says:

    My pleasure Aaron! Self care is so important. Without our health, we have nothing to give.

  3. Sarah says:

    Gail, thanks for sharing. Beautifully written, I totally agree. Check out this article on 'I' Language, it is hitting on the same thing! http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/11/my-languag

  4. gailgoodwin says:

    Thank you Sarah. I love this quote from Aaron's article, 'My language of unity', where he says' I get myself together and change myself, and then everything else follows." I've found it really powerful to get myself together. When I bring together my masculine side (my reasoning, or planning or analysis or action) and feminine side (my receptiveness, imagination, creativity or intuition), I endeavor to unite them by finding something they can agree upon, then I have literally pulled myself together. Personal integration. It's the relationship I have with myself. When I can bring my head ( my thoughts) and my heart (my feelings) together, there is unity, action or no action, synchronicity or some pretty powerful intuitive insights. Your translation of we and you language into I language is a brilliant idea. Thanks Aaron for some great insights!

  5. Donna Fowler says:

    Great article Gail I’m going to self care right now and sit outside in my spa and get some Vit D. Great to see you on this wonderful site

  6. gailgoodwin says:

    Donna, wonderful to see you here too! Thank you! A good dose of self care sounds like a brilliant idea.

  7. Frances Egan says:

    Beautifully written Gail. I'll use it as my mantra. x

Leave a Reply