I’m constantly talking or writing (or posting quotes and photos on Instagram) about how “self-care” isn’t selfish, it’s a strategy and I want to elaborate on that.
Every airline says it: In the event of an emergency, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help anyone else with their oxygen mask. Not to be morbid but we all know why, right? Because you’re not really much help if you’re not breathing.
Well, this is true for our everyday lives, too. I know it. I’m convinced you know it, too. Yet, it’s so hard to practice sometimes. It’s so darn easy for us to put ourselves on the back-burner and work that extra hour before stopping to eat lunch, replace that evening run with a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, or say yes too many times, that there isn’t a spare moment in our schedules for us and [insert your own scenario here.]
We do this to ourselves but just like the airlines say, we aren’t much help to anyone else if we aren’t taking care of ourselves: body, mind, and spirit – whatever that means to you.
I’ve seen bosses do this. I’ve seen parents do this. I’ve seen partners do this – and I’ve done it. When we do this, the result is never good. We’re subtlety telling ourselves that we’re not important or not worth it, we’re teaching our employees (or children!) that they shouldn’t take care of themselves, we’re sacrificing the quality of our lives, and sooner or later (unless you’re Mother Teresa) we become resentful to our families, our loved ones, our supervisors, our companies, etc. and all because we didn’t have the common sense to take care of ourselves so that we could show up our best selves for the people we love and the jobs we care about.
Self-care really isn’t selfish.
It’s a necessity.
It’s common sense.
It’s the most selfless thing you could possibly do.
“Self-Care” means something different to all of us but regardless of your own personal needs or definition, let self-care be something that fuels you to succeed, work harder, care harder, and be the best version of yourself.
Last week, I had my most productive week (since leaving my corporate job 2 months ago!) and I really attribute it to me getting my self-care back on track. My body loves veggies, home-cooked meals, and exercise but I hadn’t been doing much of it. I made it a point to cook (almost) every meal at home and run for at least 20 minutes every day. Those 2 simple things made me feel unbelievable and bred even more productivity. I also make it a point to meditate twice a day, read for a minimum of 20 minutes, and savor a minimum of 3 cups of coffee a day – hey, everyone defines self-care differently, right?!
This is the part where I’ll ask you to get introspective and define it for yourself. Grab a pen and paper, a journal, open your notepad on your phone (whatever method works for you) and answer these questions: What does “self-care” mean to you? What are the things that you need to do every day, week, month, year for yourself so that you can show up to your friends, family, career, as your best-happiest-self?
This article, 45 Simple Self Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul, from TinyBuddha.com has some really great examples, ideas, and jumping off points for you to consider in all three categories of self-care: mind, body, and spirit.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! What are your definitions of self-care? What are some of the things you’re going to do for you to show up your best-happiest-self? Or any other thoughts you have from the article.
As always, thank you for reading!