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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Nurture Yourself

February 2003


I often tell people that I work with that they need to nurture themselves. The response that I often get back is a blank stare. We are very good at taking care of others, whether they be our children, our parents, our partner, even- our co-workers. Taking care of ourselves, however, seems to be a foreign concept.


The first response, after the blank stare, is to say, “But I don’t have time!” Nurturing ourselves does not take a great deal of time. Even you spend fifteen minutes a night pampering yourself, it will impact your ability to handle the stressors that life throws at you. If you give yourself a half an hour occasionally, you will feel as if you are really spoiled. Most of us can squeeze fifteen minutes in. It will probably be after the children are in bed and before we fall into bed. But it could also be waking up a few minutes early, when the world is still calm and quiet.


The next puzzle is what to do which is followed shortly by, “But I have no money”. Nurturing does not need to cost money. You can nurture yourself by reading a good book, taking a walk, taking a bubble bath, watching a fun show, gardening, and the list goes on and on. I know one person who says ironing is the most relaxing thing that she does. Now, that doesn’t work for me, but that is not what is important. What is important is that you take the time to discover what is nurturing for you. Try different things, things that you wouldn’t normally do, but might like. After you find a few things, write them down. Keep adding to the list. Tape your list on a prominent place, like your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator. Every time you begin to get stressed, walk over to your list and try something on it.


If we all did this every day, we would find that our community is a much more relaxed place to live in and was filled with smiling faces. Now, wouldn’t that be a good way to make our world a better place?


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