It’s another one of ‘those‘ blogs … the dreaded SELF-CARE one. Self-care is such an overused phrase. Sad? Self-care. Happy? Self-care. Tired? Self-care. Confused? Self-care. Coffee? Self-care… I’m not sure where the coffee part came from but good coffee definitely IS self-care !! My point is, the phrase is used so often that ‘self-care’ has lost its meaning.
For years and years I was ‘prescribed’ self-care, and for years and years I ignored the ‘prescription’ … tough therapy session? Self-care. Challenged your eating disorder? Self-care. I couldn’t understand how self-care was the cure for everything. But it’s only recently that I’ve actually began to fully understand the concept of self-care. It’s only recently that I’ve realised self-care isn’t just face masks, movie days, chocolate and painting my nails (although of course, they help). And, it’s only recently that I’ve realised self-care isn’t selfish.
Definition of self-care: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness.
… So, it’s exactly how it sounds. Self-care means taking care of oneself.
Self-care is NOT
- A luxury. It is essential to functioning at your best.
- Accidental. Self-care is intentional.
- Self-improvement. Self-care is accepting, and understanding, yourself.
- Selfish. It just isn’t.
For so long, I refused to entertain the idea of self-care because it seemed inherently selfish and indulgent. I questioned why I deserved it. On top of that, in a society that’s praised for being on the go 24/7, the idea that I should take time time out to understand myself didn’t cross my mind.
Firstly, self-care is so far from selfish. I’m learning that if I want to help people (which is my ultimate goal in life), I need to be aware of myself, what makes me happy, my triggers and I need to know when to rest.
… the saying is, you can’t pour from an empty cup! And, there’s a reason it’s a cliche.
Secondly, it isn’t normal to be productive 24/7, it’s detrimental. We need to get rid of the narrative that tells us being productive all day, every single day, is okay. It isn’t. For me, part of my journey was realising this.
Self-care, for me, was the realisation and acceptance that sometimes you have to say (… the dreaded ‘N’ word ….) no.
You can do anything but not everything.
…And that is fine. For me, self-care is a mind-set. It’s the understanding that I have to be kind to myself, and I have to do this so that I can continue being kind to others.
Self-care is understanding that you deserve, and are worthy of, rest. You deserve kindness (from yourself and those around you). You deserve cake. You deserve a break. You can say no. You can say yes… You are in control of your life.
So if you question why you should be gentle with yourself, remember: you have a life to lead and you only get to live it once.
Love E x