I’m not sure where along the way it became perceived as selfish, but the mere thought of doing something for yourself seems hard to justify. Why is that?
I wrote an earlier post on balance and how important it is for your overall health. In fact, the whole mantra of MSF is all about the connection between mind, body, and spirit for health. Not just taking care of your physical well being but your spiritual and mental health because it all connects…neglect one and the rest suffers.
I view self care as not only selfless, but something that is necessary and we must make time for.
You can think of it this way, when you’re in an airplane what is one of the first things the flight attendant goes over? Make sure you place your safety mask on yourself before others because you’re no help if you’re passed out.
Something similar happens if we neglect our own self care. We become useless to others if we are overtired, sick or run down. Just like a yard needs upkeep, we need upkeep. Besides the obvious physical upkeep (hygiene, working out, eating well) there is the spiritual and mental maintenance that is just as important.
I have struggled to make time for self care because I feel like there is a more efficient, respectable way to spend my time focusing on others or priorities I have. It was at my first acupuncture visit (more on my experience here) that I was asked point blank, “where in your day do you play?”.
At first I thought he was trying to be funny, adults don’t play…and then I broke into tears.
I couldn’t remember the last time I did something just because I wanted to for the sheer purpose of enjoyment. There was always a reason, one I could validate (i.e. working out to get stronger, making healthy food to feel better, answering emails right away, etc.). I was running around trying to create a perfect world for everyone around me, keeping a clean house, positive atmosphere at work, maintaining friendships with family and friends and all the while losing what was most important in my life, me. It’s hard even typing this out because we are hardwired to think this is a selfish way to feel.
What I found after leaving that acupuncture appointment was a sense of relief and freedom that I hadn’t even known was missing. I am incredibly structured, practical at times and pride myself in being efficient. The ultimate planner. To be given the suggestion to “play” and it be not only ok but recommended? I felt like a giddy school girl and could not wait to get home and curl up with a coloring book.
I try to incorporate something ‘just for me’ a few times a week. Ideally I would like it to be daily, but I am starting slow and I will get there. Things as small as sitting down to paint my nails, going for a walk with a podcast, or doing a mini-spa day with a face mask at home.
Not only do I feel relaxed with incorporating more self care, but I feel like I am nicer to myself and others, have more confidence and am making a point to show myself that I am worth it.
I challenge you to make a pact with yourself, starting this week to incorporate some self care. Dust off your easel, take out the puzzle you’ve been meaning to finish, turn up the music and dance around your house-I promise this is going to make you feel the healthiest, happiest you.
Speaking of which, I am turning up the volume on our speaker to get in a little dance sesh before Tyler gets home 😉 Have a FUN-filled week!
What sort of things do you do for self care? I would love to hear!