I’m an acupuncturist by profession. As such I know very well the power of this ancient holistic treatment. And yet I can go months without having any acupuncture treatment myself. This, despite expending a lot of my own energy in treating others and despite my own wise recommendations to patients about the importance of maintaining health and preventing illness and not waiting until symptoms appear before looking after one’s self.
I’m reminded of this because yesterday I felt shocking. I was stressed and anxious and drained and as a result felt unable to tackle any of the tasks that I needed to do and that the doing of would have made me feel better. The classic vicious circle. And so it was that I spent most of the day in a fug of mental wheel spinning.
The good thing about feeling bad is that it can force you to look for ways out. And so it was that at about 3pm yesterday that I remembered that I am an acupuncturist and I can help people who feel stressed and anxious. *Light bulb* I took a half hour out of my busily unproductive day to give myself a treatment. And I eased up on myself a bit, taking it steady for the rest of the day, feeling confident that I would feel better the next day and that then would be the time to get stuff done.
And I was right. Today I feel great and I’ve had a really positive, productive day which in turn has fired me up even more. The classic virtuous circle. Now I’m not telling you this to big up acupuncture (although, really, if you haven’t tried it go get yourself some!) I’m telling you this because it made me think how so many of us are rubbish at treating ourselves. Or, indeed, our selves.
Somehow it can be so much easier to give great advice to a friend than to oneself. To see how someone else can help themselves, to have compassion for another. Sometimes we all need to turn inwards and treat our selves, whether that be with a trip to an acupuncturist, a therapist, a friend or with a drop of auto-compassion.
The real trick is remembering to do it before the need becomes vividly apparent. My promise to myself is to treat my self regularly. It’s going in the diary, in a different coloured ink to the rest of my ever expanding to-do list!
How about you? Are you prepared to commit to treating your self? And how will you do it?