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When we talk about “self care,” we immediately think of bubble baths, going to a spa or getting a massage; although those are fun things to do, the self care that I’m referring to is the ability to forgive oneself.

I believe self-care prepares us for healthy relationships and promotes balance in our lives. Here are some ways to practice self-care:

Affirm all the good qualities you have. Try writing down five things you really like about yourself each day. They can be physical, mental or social; it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to remember you are worth taking care of, and have wonderful things about you that sometimes go unrecognized.

Learn new things. Education is also a form of self-care, because we not only expand our range of abilities, but we may discover new gifts and talents. This is something that reinforces our self affirmation and also attracts others to us. 

Set priorities. Self-care in terms of searching for love is extremely important. All too often, unmarried people will put their needs secondary to the search for companionship. I believe this happens when we prioritize finding someone and starting a relationship above all else, including professional development or education, family or friends, or leisure time for ourselves.

Take yourself out on a date. One of my past blogs was about how I decided to date myself after a particularly painful breakup. I had a blast, but I also took myself on a spiritual journey that ultimately made me a better girlfriend. This is a perfect way to practice self-care. What could be more self-loving than to take yourself out on a date? I highly recommend anyone—in or out of a relationship—to set aside time to dedicate to this specific type of self-care. 

Respect yourself. When we unnecessarily put all others’ needs before our own and don’t allow ourselves or our partners to become fully developed, independent and whole, we sell ourselves and our relationship short. This is not a good way to look for, start or sustain a healthy relationship.

It may seem like a contradiction, but the more you can take care of yourself, the more you allow others to take care of themselves. My own experiences proved it. When I was spending all my time doing things that others could have easily done for themselves, I stopped thinking of myself. Eventually, I felt resentful, and I also felt that others lost respect for me. Ultimately, it doesn’t make us better people.

Realize God’s love for you. In valuing ourselves, our gifts and talents, our own development, and our wholeness, we are showing ourselves and others just how much God loves us. It is also from my experience that the more we recognize ourselves as God’s creation, the more others do too.

My hope is that CatholicMatch members find the time to look after themselves, and perhaps put self-care into perspective: it is not only vital to a fully developed, God-centered life, but it better prepares us for a healthy relationship.

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6 Comments

  1. Ezrah-891754 January 15, 2013

    Beautifully written / typed :) ! I need this as a good reminder to myself that respecting oneself is also important.

  2. Lois-765906 January 15, 2013

    Very timely and well written! Someone recently said to me that I needed to be true to myself as well as to whoever my future husband might be. Having never heard that, I realized it meant I needed to always remember that I mattered too! It seemed like such a crazy idea at the time. Upon reflection, I have come to realize this is absolutely true. However, I think, when I was younger, I was so insecure (due to my parent’s divorce) that the notion of self-care would have never ever occurred to me as something to be valued within the context of
    a relationship. It does matter, who you are and ultimately what you think are essentially how you will function in a relationship. Hence, I finally, have decided to put ME on the priority list along with my daughter, church volunteer work, professional development and friends. When my Prince Charming finally comes along, he will find a much happier me with whom he can ride off into the sunset. :)

  3. Nigel-748943 January 15, 2013

    Dear Catherine,

    I strongly agree with your statement.

    Each and every individual human being, without exception, must take care of his / her spiritual, psychological, and physical welfare.

    Each person must have time for himself / herself.

    By giving ourselves regular retreats, we become better individuals.

    Nigel.
    748943.

  4. Jessica-844048 January 16, 2013

    What an amazing thing. It’s just what I needed to read today. I just started a new job and have been having a hard time disengaging from my work to my home. I definitely think I’m going to start scheduling more me and God time!

  5. Cate Perry
    Catherine Perry January 27, 2013

    Thank you all for your comments! I hope you all take some time for self-care more often. The outcomes are well worth it!

  6. Diana-956573 May 4, 2013

    It was early Saturday morning of May in the balcony of my apartment. The pigeons and chirping birds was the music in the air. The sun started to rise and shine upon me while I am sitting on a black chair with my yellow chushion and trying to catch all the shine from the bright sun . ( I need Vitamin D, badly) My neighbourhood started to have a walk a with their pet dogs. While they are enjoying their walk I am enjoying the company of myself. Having a sip of my hot chocolate and a bite to a bagel made it more satisfying. I just finished my rosary time and spent time with Father God. That’s the best thing why I am waking up everyday. Cate, you accompanied me in this wonderful day. I just finished reading this blog and helped me to uplift and gave me inspiration. I love myself and by having that love I can share it with others. Above all, I Love God the most. Merci Beaucoup! :)

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