Practicing self-care starts with getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating healthy and exercising often, but it goes far beyond that. From a Choice Theory® perspective, self-care involves making sure all five of your basic needs are satisfied: Safety & Security, Significance, Connection, Joy, and Freedom. This blog looks at our need for Safety & Security.
You probably aren’t concerned with self-care if your life is in danger, but once your survival needs are being met, it is important to examine the psychological aspects of this need. How do you feel about the level of Safety & Security in your life?
Determine how satisfied you feel in this area. Personally, I do not have a high need for Safety & Security, so I am able to tolerate risky situations and don’t always make safe choices. When I thought about this need for me, I realized I had been taking Safety & Security for granted. There were no immediate threats to Safety & Security, so it was easy to ignore. However, once I thought about it, I realized there were areas in my life I could adjust that would increase my satisfaction in this area.
The first area I examined was my relationship with money. I recognized I had created some stories in my head about money, making money, and having abundance. Many people share this problem. I believed people with money are selfish. I didn’t deserve to have abundance; I needed to give more away. I thought if I became too successful, whatever that was, then I may lose some friends in the process. There were so many thoughts responsible for my negative relationship with money.
When I started my business, I racked up a great deal of debt as I didn’t have customers in the beginning, kept paying for workshops to learn how to become an entrepreneur, and self-published my first book. I had a bad credit rating because of my income-to-debt ratio. When I became serious about self-care, I realized I needed to get my credit in order. I didn’t feel safe living in such debt. I worried about how I would repay what I owed and often criticized myself for being so irresponsible. It’s hard to practice self-care while thinking negatively about yourself.
The next thing I realized took away from my security was my body image. I put that on the back burner for awhile because I wasn’t ready to face what I would need to do. It was an area I knew I would have to tackle, but I wanted to give myself time to focus on other things first.
Another area was my health, which is connected to my body image. I am fifty-eight years old and my health is quite good. I take one 50mg blood pressure pill each day for slight hypertension, but otherwise have no issues. I don’t even have the joint aches and pains many people my age have, so it was easy to take my health for granted. I never really thought about it much. However, after examining my body image and the extra weight I’ve been carrying, I realized my hypertension is likely caused by the extra weight.
So, I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I am focusing on my health and weight. I am happy to do this because I know a positive relationship with myself counts on it. Since my work is focused on helping others make positive choices in their lives to get what they want, I figured I needed to demonstrate making good choices in mine. Finally, my health is important to me. I want to give myself the best chance to have a long, active life to enjoy with my eight grandchildren, my sons and their wives.
As you look at the relationship you have with yourself, how important is the area of Safety & Security to you? What are the subcategories that comprise Safety & Security for you? Do you find you are satisfied in these areas? If you are, fantastic! Watch for upcoming blogs about other areas you believe need some work. If you aren’t, take the time to examine what areas you need to focus on for your overall Safety & Security. Once you have identified the deficits, you can create a plan to address them so you can move closer to genuine, comprehensive self-care and that healthy, loving relationship you can have with yourself.