The self-care movement has gained momentum in recent years, with popular sayings like “treat yo’ self”. However, at times, there seems to be confusion about what self-care is and how it is not selfishness. At the core of it, self-care is replenishing your resources without depleting someone else’s. Compared to selfishness, which can be thought of as taking from someone else or putting your needs above others, self-care is also making sure you are not putting yourself last.
Selfishness may be harmful to others, while self-care is simply about you. Our ability to manage our emotions, thoughts, and to make good decisions, slowly decreases throughout the day. This may be why it’s easier to zone out and watch Netflix, to procrastinate, or to have a glass of wine at the end of the day – we’re tired and just want to relax. Self-care replenishes our ability to take care of ourselves and make healthy decisions that benefit us in the short-term and long-term. Maybe we have the energy to go for a walk, call a friend, or read a book after a draining day instead of feeling depleted. Self-care is about doing things for yourself, but it’s also about saying no and having limits and boundaries to the amount you can give.
Making time for yourself is not selfish and, in fact, making time for you allows you to give more to those you care about. When you feel better about yourself, you can give fully and completely to your community and the causes you care about. If we’re stressed or feeling down because we have no time for ourselves, how can we be there for those who need us? We’re not even there for ourselves.
Take care of yourself! Challenge the thoughts you have about being selfish and all of the “I should be doing this instead” thoughts. Make self-care a priority because you are a priority and you deserve it. 🙂