Updated: May 23, 2019
Self-care is not a waste of time, as many may perceive it to be. Not taking care of yourself and going through life burdened and burnt out: That is waste of time.
Self-care is about nourishing yourself completely so that you are better able to fulfill your responsibilities; be it your relationships or your work; but with more love in your being, more patience and a sense of inner peace – otherwise you are wasting your time.
"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
It’s absolutely wonderful that we’re kind to others, but it is also imperative that we’re kind to ourselves. Showing concern towards ourselves is what will make or break us in the performing world. However, self-care is not only important for us as performers but also for us as human beings. The benefits of self-care are infinite.
First step? Learn to say NO. When you start to say no to what society demands of you, and more importantly to what you demand –too much- of yourself, you have more time for what’s truly important to you. Consequently, this will increase productivity and give you the ability to prioritise self-care - having no time is not an excuse.
Secondly, take care of your body. The benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise include having more energy, being more resistant to diseases, and increased positive moods.
Thirdly, prioritise yourself. This will inadvertently increase your self-esteem because you are telling your subconscious that you are important and worthy of care. Moreover, when you put yourself first, you enter into a world of discovery where you begin to unravel new aspects of who you are that can be used fruitfully in your future.
Self-care does not only improve yourself, but also your relationships with others because it teaches you how to be compassionate, and hence, drives connection. Furthermore, for those performers who are reading this, self-care will allow you to better relate to the characters you are playing, will decrease anxiety about future jobs, and will equip you with the self-knowledge needed to exude confidence.
And lastly, include ‘Vitamin Forgiveness’ into your daily diet: as the saying goes, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” To err is human, to forgive is smarter - at least this is what research shows. Growing evidence shows that those inclined to forgive enjoy better physical and mental health than those who tend to keep grudges.
In studies, adults were asked to use either forgiving or unforgiving imagery as they thought about someone who had hurt them. Those taking the ‘no mercy’ stance experienced a significant rise in heart rate and blood pressure, while their moods worsened. Those who imagined showing forgiveness had healthier vital statistics, and more peace of mind.
It’s understandable that one would perceive self-care as a vague concept, and therefore, too difficult to grasp. In reality, self-care is what you make of it. Each individual is different and has different needs, personalise your self-care routine to what works best for YOU.
Ian Azzopardi Meli - Mentor for Well-Being
Rebecca Attard - Support Team
Robyn Vella - Support Team