You take time for yourself to do things that make you feel good and improve your well-being without considering the needs of others. Others may see this as selfish, but is self-care selfish or a needed tool for your well-being? It’s time to learn why self-care is not selfish.
Self-care is the latest buzzword recently. Entire industries are built around it. There’s a new self-care product or trend popping up every day. With this focus on self-care, it’s no wonder some people have started to view it as selfish. But it’s not. It’s a necessary part of taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Think of it as filling up your own cup to better serve others.
Many aspects of self-care include exercise, relaxation, healthy eating, and mental healthcare. It is essential to take care of yourself to be the best possible version of yourself. In turn, you at your best means that you can then take care of or help others.
Self-care doesn’t mean that you’re neglecting others. When you are well-rested, healthy, and happy, you can better care for those around you. You can be a better spouse, parent, friend, employee, and community member if you take the time to care for yourself.
What Self-Care is Not
Self-care is not a luxury. It’s not something that you should only do if you have the time and money. Everyone can benefit from incorporating self-care into their lives, regardless of circumstances.
Self-care is not self-indulgent. It is a necessary part of taking care of yourself. It’s not something you do just to pamper yourself. It’s to make sure that you are physically and mentally healthy. When you take care of yourself, you can take care of others. Self-care is not self-indulgent.
Self-care is not self-absorbed. It’s not about being selfish or putting yourself first. We live in a world that tells us we should put others first. We’ve been taught that it’s selfish to take care of ourselves. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s about taking care of yourself to be the best possible version of yourself for others.
What Self-Care Is
Self-care is important. Self-care is often seen as selfish, but it is vital for our well-being. Don’t neglect your well-being to take care of others. It’s not sustainable. Too often, we sacrifice our own needs for the sake of others, but in doing so, we end up running on empty. We need to recharge our batteries regularly, or we will burn out.
Putting our needs first does not mean we do not care about others. It just means that we understand that we cannot pour from an empty cup. We need to care for ourselves to be there for the people we love and depend on. When we care for ourselves, we can better care for others and lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
You’re not at your best when you’re tired, stressed, or run down. You may find yourself snapping at loved ones, being less patient or productive at work, or feeling grumpy and unhappy. But when you take the time to recharge your batteries, you feel better equipped to deal with whatever life throws your way.
It’s important to remember that self-care is not a one-time thing. Just like you need to refuel your car with gas regularly, you need to refuel your own tank regularly. Make self-care a priority in your life, and you will reap benefits for your physical and mental health, relationships, and overall happiness.
A critical aspect of self-care is taking care of our mental health. This includes reducing stress, spending time with positive people, and doing things that make us happy. When we care for our mental health, we are likely to be productive and have positive relationships. This also includes reaching out for help from a professional when needed. There is no shame in this.
My husband and I have both spoken to a psychologist during challenging times in our lives. She was especially helpful when we had the added stress of caring for my mother. When we are emotionally healthy, we’re equipped to handle the stressors of daily life better. We can be there for those who need us.
So what exactly is self-care? It can mean different things to different people. Some common examples include getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, enjoying nature, meditation, spending time with loved ones, and taking breaks when needed. The important thing is to find what works for you. Make your self-care a priority. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. It’s necessary.
I had a Sunday night ritual for years that would help me prepare for a stressful work week. I would take an hour-long soak in the tub. Candles, a glass of wine, some magazines, and a scented bath bomb. Then I would wear loose, comfy clothes and watch Extreme Home Makeover. Every episode included a tear-jerker story that would make me sob. By the time the show was over, I’d cried out any tension I had left and would fall asleep easily. The next day, I’d wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the week.
Remember, self-care is not selfish. There are many ways to practice self-care, and what works for one person may not work for another. But some everyday self-care activities include getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising, spending time outdoors, disconnecting from technology, spending time with loved ones, and engaging in hobbies and interests that bring you joy. For more ideas, check out How to Practice Self-Care for Free.