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!
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:
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.
Here are some easy self-care ideas that you won’t feel guilty about indulging in:
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?
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