In the not so distant past, and even in some homes today, the suggestion of self-care may have seemed laughable. Our mothers didn’t do it, so why should we? Where would we find the time? Money?… and furthermore, isn’t that just for lazy people who don’t have “better” or “more important” things to do? Self care equals selfish… or does it?
It seems to come naturally for some, like nurturing parents, healthcare workers and those in the service industry to care for others; yet, self-care can seem so daunting and impossible for us to do for ourselves. Why is that? To achieve something, we must first, value it. De-valuing self-care the way some of us have seen it done, is a sure way of avoiding it ourselves; but, what might we be missing out on?
The term self-care is becoming more popular, accepted and necessary as modern culture continues to push us full-throttle into the externally driven world. It seems most everything needs to be faster, better, smarter, stronger. So how does one stay balanced under all this pressure? Self-care literally means taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. Therefore, if you brushed your teeth today, you are already practicing self-care… so, why not learn how to optimize it?
Self-care has roots in psychology and mindfulness, placing value on ourselves and our time as our most valuable resources (even over money and job status). We may have been bred to believe that self-care is selfish. Even the outcomes of declining health, more stress and low self-confidence levels don’t seem to be enough to inspire us to make some changes or try something new. But research is now showing that regular, habitual self-care could be the missing ingredient to shift our experiences from drab to divine.
According to Living Self Care, self care tends to improve our immunity, increase positive thinking and make us less susceptible to stress, depression, anxiety and other emotional health issues. Although it could be as simple as a mani/pedi or zoom meeting with a friend, it is also important to set aside time for caring just for you, just from you. This may look like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, reading or journaling. Spending time in nature, nurturing creative energy and exercising are great forms of self-care too.
So next time someone mentions self-care as an option to lowering those stress levels or the secret recipe to feelings of self-worth and confidence, don’t knock it till you try it!
Self Care Journaling Exercise or Rumination:
Consider your current commitment to self care. If you’re not finding as much time as you’d like for exercise, stress relief, healthy eating or your other chosen self care activities, explore why. Does making time for yourself cause you to experience guilty feelings? Talk yourself out of this limiting mindset. List all of the ways other people in your life will benefit from you taking good care of yourself.