“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” - Brene Brown
So many of us self-employed female business owners work long hard hours tucked away on our own. As a photographer, I know I certainly do. As a result we miss out on being part of a team in an office or wider community that we would have been part of if we were employed. We miss out on regular daily human interaction and face to face conversations.
Some of the basic needs of childhood are love and emotional connection. When we receive these, we learn to feel worthy and lovable ourselves. It's the same for us now that we are adults. We need to receive care from others as part of feeling care and love towards ourselves.
Evidence shows that good reciprocal relationships – with family, friends and our wider communities – are so important for our mental wellbeing. Building stronger, wider social connections can help us feel happier and more secure, and give us a greater sense of purpose. That is what self care is all about!
If you find yourself feeling isolated (as I know I certainly do), one of the best things you can do to care for yourself is to reach out through community activities or connections with family and friends. Finding ways to help and be with others will make you feel better, and then have the added benefit of paying off later when you need support. Caring for yourself is infinitely easier to do when other people are also caring for you.
So, how can you find ways to build and maintain connections? How can you find ways to bring the benefits of being with other people into your self care routine?
Dedicate time to being with your Very Important People:
Dedicate time to being part of a community:
I'd like to finish by sharing this wonderful quote from Albert Einstein with you. Free yourselves!
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
- Albert Einstein
Do you think you spend to much time on your own? Do you have support and friendship networks in place? What do you think about building and maintaining friendships as a part of self care?
Jenny Ryan is the Award Winning photographer behind Women Rocking Business and Indigo + Violet Photography.