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The Importance of Self-Care

If I asked you what you have done to take care of yourself today – what would your answer be? My guess is you would be hard pressed to come up with something.

As adults, we are often put in charge of caring for others –for our children, for other family members, for friends, for co-workers, for pets…and for many of us it is part of our paid job.

When clients come into counseling, for whatever reason – depression, anxiety, lack of fulfillment in interpersonal relationships, we ALWAYS look at their self-care. Ninety-five percent of the time they are neglecting themselves – and any self-care they do engage in is shrouded in guilt.

I want you to listen to this. SELF CARE IS VITAL FOR YOUR WELL BEING. If you are not creating time and space to nurture yourself you will not be able to reach your own health goals – mental or physical, and eventually you will no longer be able to care for others in the way you want to.

For those of you who travel, think about the last time you flew. The instructions the flight attendant gives you before take-off are LIFE SAVING. They advise us that is we are flying with children, or someone who will need our assistance, and we need to use oxygen masks, that we are TO PUT THE MASK ON OUR SELF FIRST and then assist others. Think about it – if you were giving the oxygen to everyone else and not yourself – eventually you would suffer the consequences and not be able to help those around you.

So let’s start a list – take a minute or two and write in our comments your pledge for self-care – what can you do to make sure you are nurtured and cared for?

Alyson Ryan, LCSW

Alyson Ryan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and co-founder of South Bay Wellness. She is passionate about assisting individuals on their journey to live a more fulfilling, peaceful and rewarding life. She can be reached at

For more information on Alyson Ryan, visit her bio page at

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