Lately I’ve been exploring what self-care really means and why I haven’t made enough time in my life to practice it. Even though your story is likely different than mine, I’m guessing you can relate. Why is it that we often feel selfish, guilty or ashamed to say “no” when we feel overtaxed?
You are Most Important
Taking care of yourself first may seem selfish on the surface. But think of it this way: if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. Not really, not in the best way possible (and to top it off, everyone has to deal with you being a totally drained, cranky-pants). You can’t truly share your special gifts with the world if you don’t take care of the most important person in the world first – you.
My Healing Journey
Recent events have forced me to take a good hard look at my self-sacrificing and tolerant nature. I’ve always thought these qualities where good—and they can be to a certain extent—but not when tolerating abuse in my life. Not when I’m stretched too thin, unhappy and unable to fully give myself to the things that matter the most to me.
I knew things had to change, big time. So I gave myself permission to take it easy, to reflect and to heal. I’m getting there, slowly but surely. Most of all, I’m not beating myself up for where I ended up. My past is my past—the good the bad and the ugly—it’s all part of the person I am today. What’s important is learning from my mistakes and using them to empower others and myself.
So What’s Self-Care Anyhow?
- loving and supporting yourself as you are,
- knowing your limits and sticking to them, and
- fueling your body and soul so that you can really shine and make a difference in the world.
As you can see, self-care means knowing yourself. Take some time to explore your limits, notice when you are being too hard on yourself and take note of what really nourishes and lifts you.
Self-care should be a daily practice, well before you’re exhausted and cranky. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming either. These are the things I’ve been building into my self-care practice:
- Spend time in nature
- Get enough sleep
- Laugh with my peeps
- Take a deep breath
- Eat good clean food, that’s right for my body
So you see, self-care can easily fit into your day, everyday. The hardest part is getting over your own feelings of guilt. Repeat after me: “Taking care of myself is not selfish!” Everyone who really loves and cares for you will understand and support your efforts: they want you to be your happiest, most productive self too (and if they don’t, well, it’s time to let them go).
Self-Care is Not Selfish Infographic
Being the visual person that I am, I designed a colorful infographic to help remind me to make time for self-care. I’m hoping it will help you too!
Thank you! Download your Self-Care is Not Selfish Infographic:
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So what does your self-care practice look like? Please share your tips in the comments below.