A lot of people are finding it very hard to perform self-care right now. Why? Because it makes them feel guilty.
Let’s face it — there are some pretty awful things happening right now. Unless you are living in a cave, or very purposefully cloistering yourself off from the world, you are aware of it.
(Let’s face it — if you are reading this, then you are not so disconnected as to be unaware.)
You might be in a position of feeling like, whoa…it’s just so bad. What can I do? How can taking a break/day off/spa day/time for myself NOT be selfish?
To put it simply, if you do not care for yourself, you will have nothing available to give to anyone else, either.
Self-care should not be neglected
What happens when a car runs out of gas? It stops working. Likewise, when you run out of “gas”, you will stop working. How? You’ll get exhausted, sick, super-stressed out, emotionally drained, or some combination of all of these — or worse.
When you do not take a break and give yourself care, you make yourself vulnerable to breaking down in some manner or other.
Food, air, and water, are not the only fuels the human body needs. We also need rest — not just sleep, rest. You need to breathe, to take time just for yourself.
It is in no way selfish to do this. Yes, it might feel like it is, but everyone, no matter their background, needs self-care. It can be something grand, or something minor. But it is still a necessity.
Types of self-care
These are just a few examples of self-care that one can perform. They are in no order, and this is by no means a complete list.
Some low-key, inexpensive options:
· Mediation. Taking as little as five minutes of still mindfulness can really help you reset.
· Exercise. Getting the blood pumping can make you feel better. Just walking is good for self-care.
· Sex. Face it, sex is fun, feels good, and is totally a matter of self-care.
· Read. Get into a good book, fiction or non-fiction, and escape.
· Laugh. It is all too easy not to be able to laugh right now. The internet is loaded with funny cat videos (and porn, which ties back into sex) and other comedy that can make you laugh.
Some more costly options:
· Drive. Get in the car, blast your stereo, and take a drive.
· Go to a movie. The hour-and-a-half plus of escapism can be extremely beneficial.
· Go to a spa. Nothing like a massage from a professional therapist to care for your self.
· Take a vacation. Get away for a weekend, clear your mind, disconnect from the insanity.
Self-care is NOT selfish
Nobody can go go go all the time. It’s just not possible, because you will break down. No matter if you choose something low-key or more costly, taking a break and performing self-care is NOT selfish.
It is all-too-easy to see treating yourself to anything as selfish in the current atmosphere. I know what goes through MY head in this instance: So many people are being told they are worthless, and there is so much awfulness happening out there right now. How can I possibly do anything for myself without denying good for other people? How selfish am I?
The thing is, you are NOT denying other people their own good by being good to yourself. Does meditating for 10 minutes mean someone else is being forced to do something they would prefer not to do? Does taking a drive deny someone else the use of the same road? Will your vacation require chaining children to the oars of your boat? Since the answer is no, you are not being selfish.
Self-care is not selfish because you are not taking something away from another, nor denying anyone else anything. Taking a cruise is not selfish; however, taking the entire buffet on the cruise ship and not allowing anyone else access IS.
Give yourself a break
You are worthy and deserving of taking a break. This is another matter that you may be struggling with. The question of Am I worthy of self-care? is answered with a resounding YES.
You do not need to be anyone of any superficial or artificial group to be worthy of a break. Self-care is a necessity for EVERYONE. Class, gender, skin color, nationality, religious affiliation, or whatever — you are worthy and deserving of care for yourself.
There is no reason to feel guilty about self-care. In order to give more to the world at large, you need to refuel, and that is a matter of self-care. You needn’t do or be anything nor anyone special to deserve it. Self-care is good for you, and denying care for your self doesn’t help anyone else, either.
You are a worthwhile person, and you need to give yourself a break. Perform some sort of self-care today, at the very least take five minutes for JUST YOU, and allow yourself to be revived and reinvigorated. You deserve it.