By: Sylvie Griffiths, MBA

Self-care is not a new concept to me. I have used its principles in my professional career as a cosmetologist. “Pamper yourself,” was the advice I constantly repeated to others. I felt pampering ourselves was a selfish endeavor on many different levels, and with that perspective, it was a rich experience only for special occasions. I even designed excuses in my mind of why I was unworthy of this maintenance.

Self-care is maintenance for ourselves. Mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual areas of ourselves need to be supported and fulfilled. But, as many working parents do, I basically took care of everyone but myself. Ironic huh? So then as a parent, spouse, and friend, I become the do as I say not as I do, person in their life. So why I want to break the cycle now is very important.

Recently I started to get new training and become a recovery coach. This new wave of support for those recovering from addictions like drugs, sex, gambling, or alcohol. I love to talk to people about their problems, and I genuinely enjoy supporting people in their time of need. We spent a lot of time learning about self-care; days even. These lessons were excellent reminders of how you cannot help anyone if you cannot help yourself first.

My life is hectic. Finances, stress, children, pets, friends, jobs…the list can go on an on when we look at all the moving parts we call our lives. With my more positive perspective, acknowledging that my life is challenging and complicated became a great reminder of how strong I can be. Life is very hard at this time. As I watch my mother die of cancer, I dwell on so many things that I wish she had gotten to do for herself. My mom knows nothing of self-care, and I feel the sadness so profoundly that she missed many experiences because she only knows to care for others.

I have to partake in self- care. My kids will have a better more patient parent and hopefully a role model. My husband will have a wife who is upbeat even in the face stress. My friends will have their outspoken therapist back; ready to show empathy. The me who takes baths and occasionally spends money on herself and who actually thinks about her needs is fighting her way back.

I am working on adapting myself to enjoy my self-care. I will focus on being present and celebrating little daily victories. I will let me dear friend spoil me with a spa day if she insists and not feel guilty for her generosity and my time for me. Mindfulness was just a word before this year of my life and I am 40 years old. This new focus on being in the moment will give me a stronger ability to become a really great recovery coach too. I am a work in progress, but I deserve the pampering no matter what.


About Sylvie Griffiths:

Sylvie is a happily married mother of four who enjoys writing, people and chocolate.

She is an Evaluation Associate and has a Master’s in Business Administration from Springfield College. She holds more than ten years of experience in performance assessment and behavioral health services.