Self-love by doing self-care was a recent post I wrote. I received feedback that means we need to talk more about self-care.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is taking time for you to nurture your body, mind , emotions and soul in some way that refreshes, restores and inspires you. It can be an activity or an inactivity. It can be some thing you do once or on a regular basis. It can take just a few seconds or hours. It can be a spur of the moment thing or a regular habit.
Some people think self-care is simply resting and not very exciting or important. While sleeping can be self-care if you are not getting enough sleep, self-care is more about intuitive and creative ways of being in the moment. It is more about finding joy in moments in order to live a joy-filled, complete, healthy life.
Is Self-Care Selfish?
The short answer is NO. You can not give what you do not have. You need to fill your tank, treat yourself well in order to have the ability to work, parent, partner, love, have patience, have empathy, experience joy and live an optimal life. When you are running at full steam with no “down time” or no way to get off that track for a while, you will burn out. That burn out can be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual or all of the above. Your entire person and personality is composed of all four of these. That is why you need to give each of those areas love.
“Self-care is not selfish. You can not serve from an empty vessel.” Eleanor Brown
Now, if you have responsibilities that you stop doing in order to only do self-care, it can become selfish. But that isn’t what we are talking about. We are talking about creating small interruptions of time within your day, a short period of time within your week and/or a regular habit that you give some priority to within your year to refresh and revitalize, so you can fulfill your responsibilities with more energy, love and joy. Self-care is a springboard to handling your responsibilities with a positive attitude and grace.
Is Self-Care the Same for Everyone?
Self-care is different for every one. What nurtures, refreshes, restores and inspires one person can be a drain on another person. Some women love to go to their hairdresser to be pampered for an hour or two. For me, I dread going and find it draining. For one woman the thought of meditating and sitting still makes her want to crawl up the wall, while another woman looks forward to that time every day. One woman might yawn at that though of reading a book while another becomes antsy and can’t focus unless she reads for a few minutes each day. One woman finds spending 2 hours preparing a healthy delicious meal on Sunday afternoon a way to show her creativity while another dreads meal planning and cooking. One woman might love to listen to music while another finds any music just noise.
There is no right or wrong way to do self-care. The key is to pay attention to how you feel after you try something that might be self-care. If you feel more tired, frustrated or drained after doing something, it probably isn’t self-care. Get rid of it if it isn’t a responsibility that you must do. If you feel more energetic, special and joy-filled it probably is something that if good self-care for you. Write it down, so you don’t forget to do it again, especially when you are needing a boost.
What might feel like self-care today might not feel that way in the future. Our needs and moods change. Pay attention to how you feel. Listen to yourself.
Is Self-Care Something That You Do When You Have Time?
Self-care needs to be one of your priorities. If you have started scheduling your health priorities, consider adding self-care as one of those priorities. Unfortunately we all have too much going on and too many responsibilities. If you don’t schedule time or create habits to allow for self-care, it is all too easy to just never get around to it.
Remember self-care doesn’t have to take hours, although scheduling in a day once a quarter to just do what you want is a great habit to get in to if you can. Self-care is really about the little things. It could be getting up 5 minutes earlier, so you don’t have to rush our the door. It could be stopping for flowers for your desk or kitchen table. It could be buying a higher quality sheet, so when you get into bed you feel the softness and feel pampered. It could be taking two minutes to write down what you are grateful for today. It could mean just taking an extra minute to hug your spouse when you come home from work because you need the reconnection.
I encourage you to take some time to write down the little things you enjoy in life. Add one into your day. Then smile because you treated yourself like a princess for that moment. If you need help with ideas check out Tiny Buddha’s 45 Simple Practices for Self-Care to get ideas flowing.
You deserve to treat yourself with love, kindness and respect. Self-care helps you trek the road to optimal health.
Comment below: what is your favorite self-care activity?
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