IS SELF-CARE SELFISH?

When I started this journey in December 2016, I didn’t know much about self-care. I just knew that I wanted to be good to myself.

Since then, I’ve been educating myself on the topic and I’ve learnt a lot. Overall, I don’t like the image media give about self-care. I feel like self-care is just another buzz word, a topic to talk about because it is trendy. Frequently, people who take good care of themselves are pictured as oblivious creatures, hiding from the world in bubbly baths. Having pedicures and massages all day long.

I don’t like this image. If you take good care of yourself, you’re depicted as a narcissist, self-centered and egomaniac person.

Why? Why would taking care of myself be clueless?

Why would it make me less concerned about others or the world around me?

Why is the idea that any machine has to charge its batteries accepted by everybody?

And if I don’t take care of myself, who’s going to do it?

Asking me these questions encouraged me to dig deeper and finally come to the conclusion that self-care is a necessity. It is a way to charge my batteries. I need to charge my batteries like any machine does.

But as a human, I’m much complex than a machine. I have physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.

I need to feed my soul, to take care of my heart, of my body and my mind.  I need to watch at a sunset with my kids. I need to feel that I’m helpful and show people I care. I need to protest in the streets and be committed to my community. I need to share my joy and take care of my loved ones.

And if I am good to myself, I will be stronger and healthier. And I will better equipped to take care of others.

Not convinced? Imagine for a minute with me the following situation.

Imagine a day where I wake up and I’m stressed because I have a heavy load of work on tight deadlines. Imagine that the perspective of that day scares me. Because I’m stressed that morning, I’m impatient with my kids and I yell at them, telling them to hurry because we’re going to be late. Then I argue with Hubby because he asks me where my son’s socks are and he can’t find them. Then, while I’m driving, I get impatient because the lights are red. And when I go to the Starbucks to get my tea, I don’t say Hi to the baristas because I don’t have time. And on and on and on.

The idea of thinking about this painful day raises my anxiety level.

Now let’s imagine the same morning taken from a different angle.

I wake up angry because I have too much work on thight deadlines and the perspective of a stressful day is scaring me. Instead of jumping directly into my clothes and my day, I take a 15-min meditation break during which I recognize my stress as a temporary emotion. And I bring some perspective into my life: I am healthy. My family is healthy. I have the gift of sight, taste, hearing, smelling… the world is the same as yesterday and the same as tomorrow. Today is a stressful day but I’m going to do the best I can. And the best I can is enough. Because it is the BEST I can.

Do you think that I will start my day the same way as in Scenario 1? Do you think I’m going to yell at the kids? Argue with Hubby? Get impatient at the light? Be rude at Starbucks? I’m sure I won’t. Because I’ve tried it many many times.

But if you have doubts, crash-test it and see how it goes. I’m sure your perspective will be different. And so will the rest of your day.

For me, this is a perfect example to illustrate the importance of self-care. If a simple self-care act (a 15-min meditation here) can change the quality of your life and that of others around you, how can it be selfish?

My dear friends, I really hope this will encourage you to take better care of yourselves and definitely forget the idea that you’re being selfish. You deserve it!

Love to all and please, don’t forget to share if you liked this post.