What I’m more and more concerned with is the sheer number of my friends who have started showing signs that the physical restrictions have had an effect on their mental health. And to be perfectly honest, that includes me. It’s a gradual process in which we slowly slip into a more and more strained mental state where one little thing after the other ends up out of our grasp.
We all need to take good care of our own physical AND mental health, but also take care of those who surround us. And this is where the title of this short blog post comes into play: what would Love say?
We often think of love as something we receive from others or that we give to others, and that is most certainly part of the equation. But have you considered just how much you are giving to those you take care of? How much can you give without lacking support for yourself?
I think of love as something that is given without much thought, but I have found out the hard way that giving too much depletes my own store and makes me feel left out, washed out, and in need of attention. It feels natural to hope for that attention from the outside, but never forget that your first source of attention is you!
How can you be present for your friends if you don’t take care of your own needs, first of all? I think of this as a pond that holds my ability for love and care for my friends, but there is an indicator there telling me when I’m running low on care for myself. Call it an alarm that goes off when I’m in danger of running low. And then I find things that make me feel better myself: taking a bath for as long as I want, walking on the beach and watching the waves, calling a friend and have a chat without touching on the difficult subjects, a full day of gardening, reading something that makes me emotional,… there are lots of options, and most of them involve taking a step back from ‘the matters at hand’ and just letting my mind drift.
Love’s advice is simple: look out for your own wellbeing first, and then take the peace this brings you to your loved ones. Don’t run out of steam taking care of others. When you feel you are washed out, in need of a friend… take some time out and regenerate before doing anything else.
These are my own thoughts on aspects of my work I feel strongly about.