IS SELF CARE SELFISH?
In fact, it is the complete opposite.
Self-care is something you do that enhances your overall well being. It sounds easy, but is often forgotten. We get so caught up in taking care of others and having busy lives that we abandon looking after the most important person - ourself.
It’s important not only for your health but for the relationships around you. Without self-care negativity can build up inside you and as a result cause strain and stress in your life. When I discussed this blog topic with Russ, a quote he mentioned was: “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. This is so true, how can we expect to give any kindness, love, support or help to others if we give none to ourselves and are constantly running on ‘empty’.
When you love and look after yourself, loving and looking after others becomes easier. If you are stressed, worn down or over worked, then you become tense and irritable and that projects into your environment and those in it. I know for myself, if I neglect to make time for self-care practices, I don’t function as well as I know I can. For example, when my diet is bad and I’ve skipped multiple workouts, I feel sluggish and horrible. When I eat nourishing food and smash my workouts, I feel amazing! Another example is when I neglect my nightly wind down / skin care routine, I wake up feeling 50%, opposed to the 100% I feel when I do my routine.
As there are many different aspects and types of self-care, it can seem difficult to determine the difference between self-care and self indulgence. Just because something makes you feel good, that doesn’t mean it is beneficial to your mental, emotional, or physical health. Making a nourishing meal and catching up on a favourite TV show is very different to over indulging with alcohol, drugs, and partying. Some actions, like partying, are temporary mood enhancers but can be destructive, compared to the positive long term benefits from a practice of self-care. It is important to be able to identify what actions are true nourishing activities.
Discovering what self-care practices are right for you can take time. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. If running a hot bath and sitting in it makes you feel bored and antsy, then that isn’t the right self-care practice for you. If you are doing something you enjoy but not feeling the benefits mentally/physically then again, this isn’t the right self care practice for you and you will need to find something more fulfilling. Find what really works for you. This on its own is a form of self-care and you may end up discovering more about yourself!
How it is obtained is different for everyone. Some forms of self-care include:
Exercising/stretching, taking time off from the digital world, making a daily list of things you are grateful for, taking a walk with your favourite music, engaging with loved ones, laying in the sunshine for 10 minutes, meditation/quiet alone time, getting a massage or facial, working on a hobby, or even just taking a nap!
It’s the start of a new year, so let’s start thinking about self-care practices now to make sure we are starting the year full of self love and positive energy. Even if all you can give yourself is 10-15 minutes of self-care a day, remind yourself that it is not selfish and you deserve it.
Thank you for reading!
Much love as always