What is self care?
Self care is the act of taking care of oneself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually; it is the act of ensuring your needs in all of these areas are met.
Self care is the greatest form of self respect, it’s about valuing yourself and upholding your own worth to take what you need when you need it.
Self care is empowering, it requires that you take responsibility for your wellness.
Self care is an intentional process of practicing healthy habits, creating boundaries and building a life worth living.
Is self care selfish?
Self care is not selfish. Taking care of ourselves is necessary. Many of us have grown up with messaging that says we must put the needs of others before our own, we must sacrifice and put ourselves last. It’s time to unlearn these messages. While we are called to serve others, we are not called to do so at the detriment of our own well being.
In fact, how do we serve others when our own needs are not met? If we are not healthy how do we best look after someone else? Wouldn’t it make more sense to ensure our own wellness and that we are living our best life, so that we can then give the best of ourselves?
When we practice self care, we are giving ourselves the gift of wellness and we are also inviting others to do the same. When we model that we value ourselves, we take care of our own needs, we are solely responsible for living our best life, we in turn, give others permission to do the same.
Self care is not self indulgence
Again, going against the grain here, self care is not necessarily about bubble baths, the extra slice of chocolate cake or skipping a workout because ‘you deserve to relax’. While it’s nice to experience indulgences once in a while, it is important to differentiate these are treats, they are not self care.
Treats are meant to be experienced ‘once in a while’ they should not become what we do on a regular basis or they can become self sabotage and harmful habits.
I’m not saying a bubble bath is a harmful habit, but if you’re regularly trading it off for the 30-minute yoga routine it’s time to become curious and ask what best supports your wellness goals. “Is this activity serving me? Is it taking me away from something that’s important to me? Is it a distraction? Does it help me to meet my responsibilities?”
Self care is a discipline
Self care is about being accountable to you! It’s about developing daily habits and disciplines that ensure we reach our wellness goals. Essentially, self care is quite boring!
Self care is developed over the course of time, as habits take hold we layer in new habits, while regularly assessing needs and goals. What is working for me? What is no longer working so well? Self care is about committing and re-committing to yourself and your goals.
Self care disciplines will look different for everyone.
Take the Self-Care Assessment to get started thinking about your self care plan or to re-evaluate your self care plan!