Note to self: Self Care isn’t selfish. Why we have to keep making these notes to ourselves, I have no idea. I’m a therapist and I still have to remind myself of these things on a daily basis. Logically, I know that self care is not selfish, but it can certainly start to feel that way. When we’re constantly inundated with to do lists and other responsibilities it can be hard to justify taking time for self care. The key to keeping your cool when it comes to practicing self care is to remember the whole reason self care exists in the first place.
Self Care Is Taking Care Of Yourself
The literal definition of self care is “taking care of yourself.” Life does not necessarily specified how exactly this is supposed to look. There are so many ways to take care of yourself, spanning from simply brushing your teeth to going on a fancy shopping spa vacation spree. I mean, brushing your teeth as an act of self care isn’t selfish is it? There are so many opportunities in the era of social media for us to share and express our self care. I love this! I totally enjoy seeing people rock out their self love and do good and fun things for themselves. As a therapist, it fuels me and makes my heart flutter.
However, the downside to flaunting our fancy selves is that so often this is all that we end up seeing. Self care floods our feeds with so many big, bold, and beautiful experiences that it can be easy to forget that self care exists in the small stuff too. Honestly, most days aren’t really set up for lavish grand self care experiences. Most days I am just trying to make some sense of my hair, remember to put on deodorant, and grab some sort of caffeinated beverage before heading out the door. Clearly, these things help me take care of myself. This kind of self care isn’t selfish.
Taking Care of Yourself Isn’t Selfish
You can let go of a lot of pressure and guilt by thinking of self care in a different way. Think about all of the ways that you already take care of yourself. Consider the simple stuff, like just eating, sleeping, and breathing. In this light, certainly self care isn’t selfish. It’s essential.
It’s also good to note that self care moments can be extended to taking care of the things you love- like your family, friends, children, and animals. Every time that you do something to take care of these things, you are, in turn, taking care of yourself. Sure, sometimes it is important to step back, set boundaries, and protect our time. But we can also healthily and intentionally carve out time for taking care of the things we love. Finding the right balance in this can be a very beautiful and nourishing act of self care. You can train your brain to start to believe that self care isn’t selfish at all by remembering that self care is just taking care of yourself.
Putting It All Together
Self care isn’t selfish, no matter how many notes you have to write to yourself. It is, simply put, the act of taking care of yourself. Be sure to enjoy the days that lend themselves to the big, the beautiful, the lavish, and the grand. Go ahead, treat yourself! But with the other 99% of the time, allow yourself to rethink the word “self care”. Simply ask yourself, “what do I need to do to take care of myself today?”