When we're feeling stressed and running around taking care of others, sometimes the best thing we can do is take some time out for ourselves. Whilst this may seem like a reasonably obvious thing for most, some of us find that concept difficult to grasp. I believed that I should put others needs before my own and that not doing so was self-centred. But I've come to realise that is not the case.
It turns out that self-care is actually pretty important for our wellbeing, so why is it not held in high regard if that's the case?
We Think Self-Care Means Being Selfish
In fact, this statement couldn't be further from the truth. Taking care of ourselves is the opposite to being selfish as it strengthens us and enables us to take care of others better. Self-care is a remedy for stress and helps us to cope better with the challenges life throws our way. After all… you're no good to anyone when you're a burnt out mess on the floor.
We Sometimes Forget Ourselves in Relationships
We often fall in love with the idea of being in love and being with someone 24/7. The problem with this is we end up giving too much because we believe we should.
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.” - Ernest Hemmingway.
So instead of giving too much and spending every moment of the day thinking about your partner (not saying that you can never think of them again - we're after balance here) we would do well to focus some time on ourselves and the things we love doing. Then we can give from a place of wholeness and happiness, rather than neediness.
We Teach People How To Treat Us
Our actions and attitudes towards ourselves can sometimes teach people how we want to be treated. By putting signs out that you would put others needs before your own, you attract the people that want to be rescued and where life becomes about them - not a balanced relationship. Now I don't just mean a relationship with a partner, this can be friendships and work relationships as well.
We Don't Realise Our Self Worth
We think others are worth more than us. If we are confident in ourselves and treat ourselves as being worthy (which you all are) then we will attract that back. How can you expect someone to love you if you do not love yourself?
Now I'll admit that I have been guilty of the majority of the above, and to be honest I got a bit emotional writing it, but realising your self worth and taking care of yourself is your responsibility, nobody else’s.
What Does Self-Care Look Like?
Everybody is different and therefore self-care for everybody is different... you need to find what makes you happy and content. For me its; regular exercise, eating well, a skin care routine (including weekly face and foot masks), limiting my time scrolling through social media and spending more time with friends, family and positive people.
Other self-care practices can include:
Doing something you enjoy daily, whether that's being creative, listening to music or going to a special place
Identifying negative self-talk and making it positive
Singing and dancing
Yoga and/or meditation
Being grateful for things
Avoiding over analysing a situation
Not worrying what other people think about you
Getting outside every day
Self-development (could be a skill, knowledge or how you view yourself)
Remember: “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel." - Eleanor Brownn.