From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Is Taking Care of You Selfish

In this very complex world, we are often faced with dilemmas of self-preservation. We find ourselves stretched beyond our limits, and faced with too many obligations and demands. When we reach the "end of our rope", "run out of gas", or become mentally and physically exhausted, this is often a time when our bodies begin to revolt and display symptoms of stress. In the effort to practice preventive healthcare, we must come to terms with taking care of ourselves.

When the needs of our family group are most pressing, we certainly need to compromise. But when our own needs are critical to our health and safety, it is important not to self-compromise.

We all have an inner voice of wisdom that speaks to us through various symptoms. Headaches, colds, backaches, ulcers, and a host of other physical symptoms appear when we fail to take care of ourselves. Recognize that symptoms may be messages to you about your personal survival. Respect your need to rest and to avoid toxic situations.

When flying on airplanes, I love the instructions that are given concerning oxygen masks. If cabin pressure is lost, people are instructed to first adjust their own oxygen mask, then help their children or those around them. It is logical that without sufficient oxygen, you would quickly fail to be in a position to help others. Yet, there are those of us who would still feel guilty for adjusting our own oxygen mask first.

ęCopyright, 1994, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated November 14, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.