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Second Place Syndrone - Selfcare is not selfish

Published by Lynn Ferndale in the blog Lynn Ferndale's blog. Views: 153

I started listening to a podcast called, 'Weight Loss Surgery Podcast," by Reeger Cortell, FNP-C. I highly recommend it. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has some wonderful insights and commentary on weight loss surgery. This statement of hers, "Self care is not selfish," really hit home for me. She calls it "Second Place Syndrome" and I admit, I suffer from it. What is it? It is when you put yourself behind your spouse, your kids, your job, church or volunteer commitments. Somehow, someway, there is always something you need to do for someone else and what you need simply comes second.

Now, if you were raised like me, doing for others is an admirable quality and highly praised. To engage in selfless activities and to give of yourself is a good thing, right? It is. But as Reeger points out, selfishness and self care are NOT the same thing. It is ok to devote time and attention to being the best person I can be for the people I love. That means eating right, exercising and making good food choices and following my doctors instructions. I can be a positive influence to my friends and family and improve my quality of life which in turn allows me to be of more service to others in a positive way. It does not mean that I volunteer for something at work which sacrifices my gym time.

This change in my attitude was positively manifested today. Instead of being couch potatoes, my husband and I went to the park for a walk together. My husband was a very athletic person in his younger days and more recently had joined the ranks of the couch potatoes with me. Not today. I told him of my commitment to exercise every day at least thirty minutes and today he joined me. After our walk together in the sunshine, he had a big smile on his face and said he felt great and thanked me for allowing him to tag along. Wow!

So friends, I know what I need to do. I want to be present in the lives of the people I love. I cannot do that authentically if I consistently put myself second. Taking care of me (self care) is not being selfish, it is one of the best ways I can choose to take care of those I love.

Hoping everyone is enjoying the holiday in a healthy way.

Happy 4th!

Lynn
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