Is not selfishJuly 18, 2020
Is not selfishJuly 18, 2020
What comes to mind when you hear the words self-care? Is it something along the lines of a bubble bath, luxurious face mask and a cheeky glass of wine (maybe all at the same time)? While these types of indulgences are all well and good, if they are your only methods to cope with stress and truly address your well-being then perhaps you have bought into the hype of #selfcare and slightly missed the mark on what it really is.
Let’s begin with what it IS NOT
- A passing trend—Although the self-improvement industry may try to convince you otherwise, self-care is not just a hashtag-hype and it really isn’t something that needs to be bought or consumed.
- Glamourous—It definitely isn’t always something beautiful or Instagrammable; sometimes self-care is downright ugly. From sticking to a morning routine that provides a sense of stability to your life, and sweating through a workout when you would much rather be on the couch, to making a spreadsheet that tallies up your debt and perhaps finally cutting out some of the toxic people in your life… committing to your best self isn’t always pretty.
- A quick fix—It’s also not something that you only pay attention to when you are coming down with a flu or feeling on the verge of burning out, only to then finally indulge in that massage and pedicure package to destress. This type of quick fix is really just like placing a Band-Aid on a massive wound.
- Extra Stress—It also shouldn’t be just another thing to add to your ‘to-do’ list that makes you feel guilty when you don’t manage to check it off.
So, what IS selfcare?
- Knowing your worth – Self-care is establishing an awareness of your physical, emotional, and mental needs and then prioritizing them. It is making a choice to place your well-being at the centre of your life, not in a selfish way but in a way that recognizes your inherent value and therefore honours it.
- Making tough decisions—Sometimes self-care is about making decisions that will positively impact your long-term wellness but may kind of suck in the short term. We’re talking about refraining from falling into those bad habits and familiar self-sabotaging patterns that are so tempting in times of stress.
- Despite appearances—Self-care is about building a life that feels good over a life that simply looks
- All about Acceptance– True self-care is rooted in compassion and lovingly attending to yourself, not about trying to ‘fix yourself’. It is a practise to learn to accept yourself where you are and as you are, understanding that no matter what, you deserve to be loved.
Learning to say no—a lot of stress comes from not clearly knowing our boundaries and just saying yes to everything because it feels ‘easier’. Sometimes self-care is learning when it is time to say yes vs. when it is time to do less.
Why it (really!) matters
Have you ever heard that adage ‘One cannot pour from an empty cup’? It’s a timeless saying, because it is true: when you are fatigued, overly stressed, or simply burnt out, you are less productive at work and can give less love and support to those that you care about, not to mention you are probably less content with life overall.
In the end, only you can decide what self-care looks like to you. But dedicating yourself to building a life you enjoy—not one you want to escape from —and becoming a champion for your own needs is perhaps a good place to start.