We come across this term so often since it has blown up on social media. The hashtags have gone wild. However, selfcare is more than what is posted.
Lets start off with the definition of self-care shall we? “The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness.” So, is taking care of ourselves selfish? Selfish on the other hand is defined as “lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”
To some, there is a thin line separating the two. But as we delve deeper into how we can practice self-care, this may clear a few points up on how it is not only indulgence activities.
So, shall we begin with BOUNDARIES. Boundaries can come into place in every aspect of our lives. From learning to say no to outrageous request from our jobs, to doing a certain activity when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Boundaries can stop you from burning out and feeling like you’re being used as a door mat. Especially in a parental role, this can easily occur when trying to find the right balance.
SLEEP! Who doesn’t love sleep? But do most people have a great sleep schedule? No, definitely not. Our lives have begun to get busier and busier. For some of us, covid welcomed a slower lifestyle and that allowed us to have more routine sleep. Then life resumed and that fell away again. How do we get sleep to count as self care? Well, as long as we are not using sleep to avoid our responsibilities, getting in that extra 15 minutes, pressing snooze one more time or even setting a timer in the evening to wind down so sleep becomes easier and more routine.
Now for a big one. YOUR HEALTH! This can span a few different ways of undertaking self care.
PHYSICAL HEALTH – putting in gym time or going for that run, physical health can play a vital part in your life and if keeping fit is a need or just a want that brings you joy, its never wrong to look after your body. When it slips into obsession or you are putting the gym before other areas that should take precedent in your life, this is when it becomes more selfish.
On to NUTRITION, how could anyone think feeding your body with the nutrients and energy it craves to survive is selfish? It absolutely is not. Your body burns calories just simple breathing. Taking a close note on your diet and giving your body the right food can assist you in both your physical and mental journey.
Which bring us on to your MENTAL HEALTH. This is a biggy that some people are still coming to terms with. It just so happens that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. The same way we become fatigued, and our bodies are telling us to stop, the mind does the same thing. You can burn out mentally just as easy from being overwhelmed as you can physically from working a 70-hour week. Taking time to meditate, rest, relax your mind or attend counselling. None of these things are selfish. They are actually needed and required.
Hobbies!!!!! Did you know how important this is? I think the fact that they are shown to be indulgent and over the top of social media blows them out of proportion. Whether its jumping out a plane with that rush of adrenaline that fuels you or the pampering you truly deserve without reason because that makes you smile and increases your self confidence. It all matters. There is nothing better than the feeling than your life being balance. You may scoff at the thought of this, however one small change can alter the entire perspective of your life.
In conclusion, no selfcare is not selfish. It is a necessity for us as humans to be able to function in such hectic lifestyles as we live in the modern world.
Taking time for you or making sure your boundaries are respected won’t be selfish, what is the worst part is thinking you can do everything for everyone on little down time and running your life like you’re a robot. That is not the case.
So, take that step back today.
If you’re struggling with anything there are places and people to talk to and assist you with your journey.