Self-care isn’t selfish, but we live in a world that tricks us into believing that taking care of ourselves is out of the question.
Self-care has become something to cross off the bottom of our to-do list after we feel we have accomplished enough to justify a few moments to care for ourselves.
Since when is taking care of our needs a bad thing?
We’re conditioned to believe that self-care is indulgent and left only for those with ample amounts of free time, or that we must cram it in at the end of the day. I’d like to formally address these statements once and for all and simply say, they’re not true.
You’ve probably heard this before, but self-care can empower us to take care of others more deeply and lovingly. There’s nothing selfish about that, am I right? The airplane/mask scenario always comes to mind: please ensure your mask is securely placed before helping others.
A quick note: I do want to challenge the above belief a bit, and say that you should not practice self-care solely with the intent to help others. Self-care is a practice that allows us to pour into ourselves, and then, if we so choose, we can then fill up others with our loving energy as well.
Only if they’re deserving, of course!
Self-care for those who give too much
If you’re a (recovering) people-pleaser like me, those divine moments when you finally decide to take some time to yourself, you’re wracked with nagging guilt.
The voice of “I should be doing XYZ instead” starts to creep in, and we feel this overwhelming feeling that we shouldn’t enjoy this precious time we created for ourselves. We feel selfish, rude, and unproductive.
A few thoughts to ponder when you find yourself in that situation:
- Is there something seriously that urgent happening that you can’t enjoy yourself?
- Are you that important that the world cannot function without you orchestrating every move? If yes, more power to you. I hope you have some boundaries in place!
- When’s the last time you took a look at your priorities and compared it to how you’re running your life right now?
- Have you been told at some point that it’s more important to take care of others first? Yeah? Who said that to you? What’s their self-care look like?
- Above all, what’s stopping you from feeling worthy enough to take a few moments to yourself?
It’s also pretty common to think that self-care is just getting daily massages and indulging in chocolate cake every chance you get. On the contrary, self-care is truly the act of taking care of ourselves moment by moment and gifting ourselves the opportunity to feel taken care of. When we begin to rely on others to step up to the plate and guess what we need without any prior communication, that’s when self-care can start to feel a little bit more selfish.
Bottom line: you have to create self-care moments for yourself every day, without expecting others to do it for you.
Easy self-care ideas when you’re short on time
Here are some easy self-care ideas that you won’t feel guilty about indulging in:
- Sip a mug of calming nighttime tea instead of reaching for dessert (I use this tea religiously)
- Make your bed each morning
- Buy a new water bottle and drink enough water throughout the day
- Speaking of drinking more water, go to the bathroom when you have to go
- Take a few deep breaths
- Write down three things you’re grateful for
- Wash and change your sheets weekly
I’d love to hear your thoughts on self-care. Do you feel guilty taking time for yourself? How do you like to fill up your cup?