Self-Care is establishing a healthy relationship with ourselves. It means taking time to make positive choices in our lifestyle and well-being.
The Guilt of Allowing Self-Care
Allowing ourselves to engage in self-care is challenging. Setting aside “personal” time can feel wrong, selfish, and a waste of precious time. Even as I implement self-care into my life, I struggle with thinking, “ugh, should I be doing this?”
I recently had a Swedish massage; my best friend gave it to me for my birthday. It was 90 minutes of uninterrupted peace and utter bliss. It was a struggle to “let go.” I knew I deserved this priceless gift, but allowing myself to completely embrace the experience proved difficult. I mentally rationalized that since it was a “rainy day,” it was an excellent day to set aside an hour and a half of my morning to attend this appointment. I told myself that the yucky weather limited my “to-do” list. I also reminded myself that I had been very productive that morning, so it was okay to hit pause.
Yes, There Was Something Completely Wrong!
Why was there a need to “rationalize” getting a massage? Why did I have to mentally grant permission to accept this personal free time? The answer is easy, putting myself first and giving self-care isn’t something I, or most of us, do. Family, work, and other obligations are put first, and we neglect what should be the priority…ourselves!
Let’s Get It Right
Self-care is very different from self-indulgence. Self-indulgence is allowing yourself to do anything you enjoy without restraint. Self-care couldn’t be more different. We must incorporate self-care into our days to experience a healthy physical, emotional, and mental life. We will discover the many benefits when ensuring our personal bucket remains full rather than draining it on everything and everyone else. Here are a few positive results we can look forward to:
~Stress is reduced, and our resilience to stress increases.
~We gain clarity and can remain focused where we otherwise feel scattered.
~Immune system becomes more vital, physically and mentally, and we feel better.
~Relationships with others improve, as does self-esteem.
It’s a no-brainer that self-care is crucial to a productive and positive lifestyle. So how do we obtain self-care? Massages and pedicures; are great, but self-care doesn’t need to come at a monetary cost. Simply adding some of these to your routine does, believe it or not, contribute toward personal care.
~Healthy eating, nicks some of those junk foods and take-out dinners.
~Sleep! Getting a restful night’s sleep is HUGE!
~Take a walk, and participate in some exercise besides hitting play on the remote control.
~Mentally engage the mind by reading, meditating, and doing puzzles.
~Interact with others via talking with a friend (not work related), volunteering, joining a community group
NO, the steps to self-care are complex, but saying “YES” to putting ourselves first is the challenge we create.