View Full Version : Need support about taking care of self first


anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 09:25 AM
I'm wondering if I should be taking care of myself first again. This is a major struggle for me. I need some people here to tell me that I'm right. I need people to tell me that I do need to take care of myself first.

I've been having this thought when I attempt to focus my energies on my breathing or mindfulness exercises. Sometimes, I won't choose taking that extra breath in the bathroom or even to pause. I'll choose another task.

I need to always choose myself first and the task or something others want me to do second.

Hermus
03-23-16, 10:02 AM
You should. Only if your own needs are met, you can truly take care of the needs of others in a healthy way.

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 11:53 AM
Any other opinions?

stef
03-23-16, 12:04 PM
argh no time here! but yes agree with Hermus. More about this tonight.

Little Missy
03-23-16, 12:06 PM
ALWAYS you first. Always. No deviation, you first. Period. And I mean it.

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 12:18 PM
ALWAYS you first. Always. No deviation, you first. Period. And I mean it.
So when I need a break or just to take a few breaths, while a deadline looms over my head, I should take the breath or break?

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 12:23 PM
ALWAYS you first. Always. No deviation, you first. Period. And I mean it.
When I feel overworked because I haven't given myself a break, I should take a break?

Why is this so hard for me to grasp?:scratch:

Fuzzy12
03-23-16, 12:26 PM
So when I need a break or just to take a few breaths, while a deadline looms over my head, I should take the breath or break?

Yes, absolutely. I try to think about it in terms of gain or rather the trade-off between what you gain and what you lose. Yes, you lose a few minutes, which gives you less time before a deadline but you will gain some clarity and energy, which means you will need less time.

Before a deadline I don't take a day off or half a day but an hours or so in which you can relax and re-energise a bit can go a long way.

I think the same holds true when you are doing things for other people. They might have a small disadvantage if you put yourself first but that might be ok if you get a big advantage in terms of peace of mind and rest and energy.

And sometimes irrespective of what the disadvantage is to others, you might just need to do something for yourself to keep yourself going.

Little Missy
03-23-16, 12:30 PM
When I feel overworked because I haven't given myself a break, I should take a break?

Why is this so hard for me to grasp?:scratch:

Yes! You first. Your work will suffer for it if you don't.

TheGreatKing
03-23-16, 12:34 PM
you can't care of someone else if you are not taking care of yourself first.
think of it like this
If someone asks for some money but your not financially stable is it wise to give them money you have left in your bank account to help them?
i dunno if that makes any sense he he :D

Lunacie
03-23-16, 01:42 PM
The example I was given in therapy is that when you're taking a plane ride, they tell you that in case something bad happens and the oxygen masks drop down, put your own mask on first ... because if you pass out you can't help the person sitting beside you get theirs on.

It's not selfish, it's just good sense. Take care of yourself anon. :grouphug:

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 02:12 PM
The example I was given in therapy is that when you're taking a plane ride, they tell you that in case something bad happens and the oxygen masks drop down, put your own mask on first ... because if you pass out you can't help the person sitting beside you get theirs on.
That's a great example. Wow.

midnightstar
03-23-16, 05:33 PM
What I'm learning anon is you've got to try and "save" yourself first, I've heard the same example as Lunacie and I also heard the example of if you and someone else are drowning in the sea and you have a lifejacket, it won't help anyone if you take the lifejacket off because then you'll be in trouble and the other person will still be in trouble :grouphug:

Unmanagable
03-23-16, 06:07 PM
So when I need a break or just to take a few breaths, while a deadline looms over my head, I should take the breath or break?

Turn your breath into your break.

I have to make myself make time for purposeful breathing every morning upon waking or my whole day is off.

If I choose not to use it throughout the day, I find myself becoming physically tense, have more aches and pains, less able to focus or think, etc., etc.

Shallow breath = shallow thoughts and actions in my mind space. The purposeful cellular oxygenation has proven to be some powerful mojo for me.

I was even able to get through a dentist visit with needles and drills with none of the gas just by using the deep breathing. That's monumental in my world. I used to need xanax to just get in the door of their office.

I was, and still am, blown away (ha! no pun intended) by how effective it's proven to be in my life.

We've been led to believe others must come first if we are actually doing what we're "supposed" to be doing, but that's dead wrong, and dead-ly if we choose to try to maintain everyone else's needs before recognizing and attending to our own.

Deep breath in, through the nose. Count to 4.

Hold it for an additional count of 4.

Gently exhale through mouth as you count to 4.

Repeat often, even when you don't feel you need it, and count higher as you're able to hold it longer.

Practicing prior to feeling pressured helps it eventually feel more natural when the crisis comes along, as they always do.

DJ Bill
03-23-16, 06:30 PM
Agreed with all of the above. If YOU don't take care of yourself, who IS?

This from a guy who used to spend all his time helping people fix their cars and never got his own done. Note I said USED TO.

I had to learn how to stand up for myself and say no instead of maybe.

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 07:18 PM
Turn your breath into your break.

I have to make myself make time for purposeful breathing every morning upon waking or my whole day is off.

If I choose not to use it throughout the day, I find myself becoming physically tense, have more aches and pains, less able to focus or think, etc., etc.

Shallow breath = shallow thoughts and actions in my mind space. The purposeful cellular oxygenation has proven to be some powerful mojo for me.

I was even able to get through a dentist visit with needles and drills with none of the gas just by using the deep breathing. That's monumental in my world. I used to need xanax to just get in the door of their office.

I was, and still am, blown away (ha! no pun intended) by how effective it's proven to be in my life.

We've been led to believe others must come first if we are actually doing what we're "supposed" to be doing, but that's dead wrong, and dead-ly if we choose to try to maintain everyone else's needs before recognizing and attending to our own.

Deep breath in, through the nose. Count to 4.

Hold it for an additional count of 4.

Gently exhale through mouth as you count to 4.

Repeat often, even when you don't feel you need it, and count higher as you're able to hold it longer.

Practicing prior to feeling pressured helps it eventually feel more natural when the crisis comes along, as they always do.
I've been doing five minutes of breathing every day for several days now. I haven't noticed much, if any, of a difference.

Unmanagable
03-23-16, 09:57 PM
I've been doing five minutes of breathing every day for several days now. I haven't noticed much, if any, of a difference.

How many is several, by your definition? I'd vote for kicking it up another notch and investing more than 5 minutes a day.

Maybe even seek out someone in your community who does it regularly for some one on one support or instruction to be sure you're doing it the most effectively. I needed that level of support when I started. That's when it clicked for me. Then I just used the hell out of you tube to learn more.

When do you do it?

I found while learning, I needed to be in a calm state and uninterrupted while practicing.

What mindset are you in when entering into that mind space?

If you're mind is already a pressure cooker about to explode and you're not able to ground yourself at all, it's going to be difficult getting to that head space without some added one on one support.

Or if you tell yourself you're going to try that breathing stuff again that never works, you've already set the expectation up in your mind that it won't work.

Where do you practice it?

I needed peaceful surroundings starting out. Now I can practice in any environment, but I had to learn to navigate it slowly by starting with silence. But it will vary for each person.

Do you feel grounded while you're doing it?

If so, does that inspire you to stay with it a few more minutes to enjoy that rare and pleasant feeling, or are you anxiously awaiting that five minutes to end each time you start so you can get back to trying to get s*** done?


Why do you choose to breathe on purpose for that particular five minutes? Is it typically after experiencing frustration, or to start the day off, or just when you feel you have five minutes to spare?

Maybe try scheduling it on your calendar each day for a week. Make yourself tend to it as if it were a formal appointment and talk yourself through it, similar to a guided meditation:

"I will treat my brain and body to this five minute purposeful diaphragmatic breath work session that I can greatly benefit from.

My cells are going to thank me. I am going to thank me. Thank you, me.

I will inhale gently and slowly through my nose as I count to four.

I will hold that sacred breath and count to four.

I will gently release my breath through my mouth and count to four.

I will repeat that until my five minutes is up, increasing the time as I progress, and will drink a glass of water when I finish and return to what I was doing.

I will not allow myself to over analyze what I think I'm "supposed" to feel.

I will not kick my own a** by using negative self-talk.

I will remind myself that I am trying my absolute best.

I will honor my inner struggle by nurturing and treating self kindly and will no longer accept anything less.

I love me, dammit, and I am worth every single minute I spend learning just how deep that love can go.

I will breathe it all in, and love it all out."


I started with 5 minutes, then increased to 10, 20, 30, etc. I tried for a while to only do a few minutes a day each day and was eventually convinced it just wasn't gonna take and I was wasting my time.

But, once I connected more dots as more folks planted more seeds of knowledge along the way, and learned more meaningful time invested in self equaled greater reward, it was easier to make myself commit to making more time.

That's when I started offering a weekly community breath meditation at a local fair trade store that offered free space to do it. Doing that kept me accountable with self and on track with my own practice.

Then the rewards became more noticeable and gave me hope, which led to more momentum in doing the only thing at the time that was giving me any hope. Breathing.

I had to be in a space where I was ready to receive the knowledge and run with it. Unfortunately for me, that space usually ends up being total desperation or an emergency where I'm pretty much forced into change.

All of the things that now help me used to be way out of my range of reception. I hadn't reached the point in my life yet where I could learn it and receive it, but it had been placed into my field of awareness and a seed was planted. I had to get to the point and time I was ready to accept. I can't explain the reasoning for it, nor the exact specifics of how I arrived, but here I am.

Mapping it all out, navigating and weeding out the excess and the BS, then weaving together only the parts that work for you, to specifically fit your individual needs, is the hardest part, I've found.

It basically just has to click for you, but it rarely ever just instantly clicks and goes straight to smooth mode, from my experiences. And if it does, I'm leery of it. It's an ongoing daily, hourly, and minute by minute process.

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 10:02 PM
^^^^^Going to need time to reply to that.:)

Unmanagable
03-23-16, 10:04 PM
^^^^^Going to need time to reply to that.:)

Remember to breathe deeply as you type. :cool: :p

anonymouslyadd
03-23-16, 10:06 PM
Remember to breathe deeply as you type. :cool: :p
:giggle:

stef
03-24-16, 04:39 AM
It's really important to take care of yourself!
If you're working on a tight deadline (this is what I'm assuming) and you're physically not comfortable - just take a break. Have something to drink. Go for a quick walk. 5 or 10 minutes might seem long but you'll feel better and you'll feel way more productive!

(don't take a break though that you know will get you completely distracted. "I'll watch one episode of this show...")

At the same time if you're really "in the zone" and you usually have dinner around 6 pm, if you eat a couple of hours later that's good too!

it all depends how you function best but goodness if you don't take care of yourself you will physically be exhausted and WAY less efficient.

Fortune
03-24-16, 05:56 AM
Just agreeing with "take care of yourself first." Self-care is very important.

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 12:55 AM
How many is several, by your definition? I'd vote for kicking it up another notch and investing more than 5 minutes a day.
Maybe I've meditated five times a week for several months. IDK.

Sometimes, I'll do a total of ten minutes. My intervals are only five minutes long, because that's all I feel I can tolerate at one time.

Maybe even seek out someone in your community who does it regularly for some one on one support or instruction to be sure you're doing it the most effectively. I needed that level of support when I started. That's when it clicked for me. Then I just used the hell out of you tube to learn more.
I hope I'm doing it the right way. I've done research online, but I would probably benefit greatly from personal help.
When do you do it?
Usually in the mornings. I think you taught me that through VM. But I try to remind myself to practice throughout the day, and that's why I'll write "Breathe" on my hand or in that thread on here.
I found while learning, I needed to be in a calm state and uninterrupted while practicing.
This makes sense, and I usually am.
What mindset are you in when entering into that mind space?

If you're mind is already a pressure cooker about to explode and you're not able to ground yourself at all, it's going to be difficult getting to that head space without some added one on one support.

Or if you tell yourself you're going to try that breathing stuff again that never works, you've already set the expectation up in your mind that it won't work.
Since I do it in the mornings, I'm usually calm, just a little groggy. I don't have a bad attitude towards it or anything. It's probably best for me to say that I've seen some results, but would like to see more.
Where do you practice it?
I usually lie down on my bed.
Do you feel grounded while you're doing it?

If so, does that inspire you to stay with it a few more minutes to enjoy that rare and pleasant feeling, or are you anxiously awaiting that five minutes to end each time you start so you can get back to trying to get s*** done?
I'm not sure what you mean by grounded. I think it helps me breathe easier. Maybe I need to re-evaluate the experience and look for the small successes. I know I sometiimes view things from an all-or-nothing perspective, which isn't good.
Why do you choose to breathe on purpose for that particular five minutes? Is it typically after experiencing frustration, or to start the day off, or just when you feel you have five minutes to spare?

Maybe try scheduling it on your calendar each day for a week. Make yourself tend to it as if it were a formal appointment and talk yourself through it, similar to a guided meditation:

"I will treat my brain and body to this five minute purposeful diaphragmatic breath work session that I can greatly benefit from.

I do it, because I believe it will eventually help me. I think it is helping me, but I guess I'm expecting more. As I type, I realize it's helped me cope with everyday anxieties and helped me not close off or suppress them. I also think that exercise is part of this, and I'm trying to introduce more cardio into my life. I stretch several times a week and do several stretches, which can help me go to sleep faster.
My cells are going to thank me. I am going to thank me. Thank you, me.

I will inhale gently and slowly through my nose as I count to four.

I will hold that sacred breath and count to four.

I will gently release my breath through my mouth and count to four.

I will repeat that until my five minutes is up, increasing the time as I progress, and will drink a glass of water when I finish and return to what I was doing.

I will not allow myself to over analyze what I think I'm "supposed" to feel.

I will not kick my own a** by using negative self-talk.

I will remind myself that I am trying my absolute best.

I will honor my inner struggle by nurturing and treating self kindly and will no longer accept anything less.

I love me, dammit, and I am worth every single minute I spend learning just how deep that love can go.

I will breathe it all in, and love it all out."
I guess these are all things I can say to myself while doing it?
I started with 5 minutes, then increased to 10, 20, 30, etc. I tried for a while to only do a few minutes a day each day and was eventually convinced it just wasn't gonna take and I was wasting my time.

But, once I connected more dots as more folks planted more seeds of knowledge along the way, and learned more meaningful time invested in self equaled greater reward, it was easier to make myself commit to making more time.

I can't imagine trying to breathe like that for 20 or 30 minutes! How do you do it? Do you take a stimulant?
All of the things that now help me used to be way out of my range of reception. I hadn't reached the point in my life yet where I could learn it and receive it, but it had been placed into my field of awareness and a seed was planted. I had to get to the point and time I was ready to accept. I can't explain the reasoning for it, nor the exact specifics of how I arrived, but here I am.

I think I understand what you're talking about.
It basically just has to click for you, but it rarely ever just instantly clicks and goes straight to smooth mode, from my experiences. And if it does, I'm leery of it. It's an ongoing daily, hourly, and minute by minute process.

I know, and that's why I practice several times a week. I also try to breathe deeply throughout the day and not just when I'm trying to specifically meditate.

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 03:21 AM
I wish I had never given up on focusing. I know that I didn't know how to take breaths to collect myself or to take a break. When I was stressed, I don't know how I ever got through it.

Little Missy
03-25-16, 06:26 AM
Happy Birthday to You First!

Unmanagable
03-25-16, 09:00 AM
Maybe I've meditated five times a week for several months. IDK.

Sometimes, I'll do a total of ten minutes. My intervals are only five minutes long, because that's all I feel I can tolerate at one time.


I hope I'm doing it the right way. I've done research online, but I would probably benefit greatly from personal help.

Usually in the mornings. I think you taught me that through VM. But I try to remind myself to practice throughout the day, and that's why I'll write "Breathe" on my hand or in that thread on here.

This makes sense, and I usually am.

Since I do it in the mornings, I'm usually calm, just a little groggy. I don't have a bad attitude towards it or anything. It's probably best for me to say that I've seen some results, but would like to see more.

I usually lie down on my bed.

I'm not sure what you mean by grounded. I think it helps me breathe easier. Maybe I need to re-evaluate the experience and look for the small successes. I know I sometiimes view things from an all-or-nothing perspective, which isn't good.

I do it, because I believe it will eventually help me. I think it is helping me, but I guess I'm expecting more. As I type, I realize it's helped me cope with everyday anxieties and helped me not close off or suppress them. I also think that exercise is part of this, and I'm trying to introduce more cardio into my life. I stretch several times a week and do several stretches, which can help me go to sleep faster.

I guess these are all things I can say to myself while doing it?

I can't imagine trying to breathe like that for 20 or 30 minutes! How do you do it? Do you take a stimulant?

I think I understand what you're talking about.

I know, and that's why I practice several times a week. I also try to breathe deeply throughout the day and not just when I'm trying to specifically meditate.

No, I don't take stimulants any longer. Haven't now for over a year-ish (I'm horribly time blind, so it's likely longer). I'm able to do it for that long because now it just seems natural to me. I'm not always just sitting still and breathing for that long.

It's also a fluid motion scene where I'm able to still function in whatever I need to be doing in the moment, or want to be doing in the moment, yet am also practicing the deep breathing as I do it.

I feel you're expecting too much too soon, likely, just as I did, instead of allowing yourself to ease into it. Transitions should always be approached slowly and steadily to take successfully, from what I've learned in my pursuit of mindfulness and wellness. However, I did not follow my own advice after my ER visit last year and jumped head first into my dietary changes and created inner turmoil big time. I learned some painful lessons and the critical significance of rational and slow transitioning.

That's where one on one help live and in person with someone who has mastered it within themselves could greatly benefit you. That's what finally got me over my own brain hurdles with it to make it more effective for me. I watched tons of videos, too, but never had it click to the point of understanding fully with just the vids and articles I feverishly studied. Having that human connection, demonstration, and guidance sealed the deal and helped me connect those last few dots.

And yes, I encourage you to make note of the smallest successes and refer to them when you feel bummed about not progressing as swiftly or fully as you've told yourself you "should" be in any given moment.

Your mind is very likely too full of expectations to be able to allow it to be full of peace. Sweep all of the expectations out of the mind trap door to make more space for the stuff you wish to absorb. :) Best of luck, anon. I know you've been trying really hard and I totally understand how incredibly frustrating it becomes. Seek local connections to practice with is my best advice from this point.

ginniebean
03-25-16, 04:55 PM
Take care of yourself damnit!

I'm sure you'll get a ton of advice and it will be good. All i have to say is you need to make you a priority. You are by nature a goal maker and a hard worker . I know this from the many times we've talked. Make self care a real goal and i have no doubt you will succeed! <3

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 05:18 PM
Take care of yourself damnit!

I'm sure you'll get a ton of advice and it will be good. All i have to say is you need to make you a priority. You are by nature a goal maker and a hard worker . I know this from the many times we've talked. Make self care a real goal and i have no doubt you will succeed! <3
That's true. Good point!

:grouphug:

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 05:26 PM
Take care of yourself damnit!

I'm sure you'll get a ton of advice and it will be good. All i have to say is you need to make you a priority. You are by nature a goal maker and a hard worker . I know this from the many times we've talked. Make self care a real goal and i have no doubt you will succeed! <3
By self-care, do you mean that I need to practice focusing and staying in the moment?

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 05:41 PM
It might be strange, but I haven't made focusing or staying in the moment a priority in years.:(

Unmanagable
03-25-16, 05:49 PM
It might be strange, but I haven't made focusing or staying in the moment a priority in years.:(


It's not strange to me at all. It took 43ish years before I was taught. No one teaches these kinds of things in the places of learning we are sent to, that I can recall.

It isn't part of any curriculum, it isn't anything any type of insurance covers, and it certainly isn't a highly funded or studied technique that gets discussed in the mainstream field of vision, so how are we to know to seek it out?

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 05:51 PM
It's not strange to me at all. It took 43ish years before I was taught. No one teaches these kinds of things in the places of learning we are sent to, that I can recall.

It isn't part of any curriculum, it isn't anything any type of insurance covers, and it certainly isn't a highly funded or studied technique that gets discussed in the mainstream field of vision, so how are we to know to seek it out?
That's why structure was so helpful to me. I could stay in the moment, even though focusing was hard as hell.

ginniebean
03-25-16, 05:54 PM
By self-care, do you mean that I need to practice focusing and staying in the moment.

Anon, I don't think there is onr right way to do anything including defining self care. Discovering what that looks like for you may mean some sort of lifestyle stuff or it may mean being aware of what's hurting you including you hurting you.

It could simply be becoming aware of how often you beat yourself up. This was one of my goals. Thru observing myself, and I can tell you this was not an overnight thing but a lot of time, i noticex my self criticizing voices woyld have what seemed like plausable and reasonable objections to any rea son I came up with to praise myself of contradict those voices. I made the decision to observe, without judgement, these voices.


I woyld write down the criticisms and the reasons given for being valid. I noticed that these voices used emotional hooks to deatabilize my ability to look at them without emotion. For me, a hot button that was triggered was shame. When I realised that my self critical voices were trying to keep me from ovjectivity this was huge for me.

I was then able to visualize three little punk lawyers, reapectably dressed, clothed in authority, little briefcases at the ready to pull our one damning evudence after the other why the criticsm was deserved. I was able thru this little visualization to turn the tables, confront the lawyers of my critical internal voice as a bunch of manipulative lawyers, who would lie, cheat and rob thier own mother to counter anything good.


Now,there were no lawyers but I did have my own little court of disapproval going on and by working in it in a methodic and objective manner I was able to see how I was self sabotaging and hurting myself. This was an experiement in making emotional and pstxhological pain objrctively witnessed. For me, it was break thru.

I can't know what your needs are, what's hurting you, or what caring for you would look like but you can identify these things. Lifestyle stuff is important, but some of us need to cleanse ourself in a different way.

I trust you. You're brigh

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 06:02 PM
I really need to put a lot of energy towards focusing and staying in the moment. This is not me beating myself up. This is me realizing something that's important and needs more of my attention.

Can someone write to me specific advice about me putting more of an effort on focusing and staying in the moment?

Unmanagable
03-25-16, 06:10 PM
That's why structure was so helpful to me. I could stay in the moment, even though focusing was hard as hell.

I feel ya'. Maybe view the breath work as being the structure? Structuring things from the inside out.

This is kind of how mine is weaved into my days:

Mornings start with breath work (not always deep breathing, just mindful purposeful breathing, as in paying attention to it vs. the other million things in my head) before getting out of bed

Then, as I take my walk and notice the details that surround me.

When I'm brushing my teeth.

Then the yoga poses and exercises I do (see....that's already a large amount of structured breathing and it isn't even noon time yet).

Each trip to the restroom.

While I'm prepping food.

After each bite as I lay my fork down to make time to chew well and breathe - I never paid attention to that stuff before when I ate - that was a tough one.

Before I talk to others.

While I'm talking to others.

Most especially to prepare to talk to the ones I really don't wish to talk to.

Etc, etc.

It very slowly, but also very surely became second nature, but not without the added one on one support, the opportunity in hosting community sessions, attending various free and donation based community mindfulness practices (drum circles, women's support groups, re-birthing breath work, energy work, chanting and dancing, sound meditations, etc.), and the various crises in between it all that forced changes in learning how to deal and heal.