Self-Care is NOT Self-Indulgence
What is Self Care?
Self-care means something different to everyone and only you can identify practices that will make a difference to you.
One definition of self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
In my opinion, self-care “should” actually be a priority, (for those that know me, I avoid the word “should” as much as possible. This is an important exception). Self-care is an activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our own mental, emotional, and physical health. When did it become the norm to think that self-care is selfish or indulgent?
Perhaps you may be willing to have a shift in mindset if you thought that your self-care would improve how you parent, love your partner or show up for work. Would you then think that acts of self-love and kindness seem selfish or indulgent?
I refer to this as the Ripple Effect of Self Care. When you take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health, it gives you the ability and bandwidth to improve all your relationships, personally and professionally.
If you are willing, think outside of manicures and pedicures. While they are nice and they make you feel pampered, they are typically something you wish for every couple of weeks. They are not the acts that fill your cup and rejuvenate you on a daily basis. Self-care “should” be free and always available to you.
Ask yourself, what do you need and follow through with an honest answer. Sometimes this is the hardest place to start.
It could be as simple as a “good” night sleep or looking at the bigger picture and asking yourself if the habits you have are serving your physical, mental, or emotional health?
How can you tell the difference between indulgence and true acts of self-care? According to Shelly Tygeilski, “ask yourself if the act is a quick-fix or something that truly serves you. Once you figure out what will truly serve YOU, fight the urge to feel guilty about doing it. The truth is, doing what serves you is actually a selfless act”. It is a gift to all those around you as you become more engaged, connected, patient, and present. Who wouldn’t love that gift?
I’m curious, who will benefit from your acts of self-care?