As a Therapist and a Life/Career Coach I often talk about the importance of self-care. I notice in media that it can be characterized as an indulgence. This means both that the practice of self-care is something we are occasionally allowed to indulge in and that self-care should feel like an indulgence. Think expensive bath products, luxurious chocolates, spa appointments. We may be missing the mark for what is healthy for mind or body. There is nothing wrong with those things, however self-care is a bit more expansive.
Self-care as a concept also can be aimed at women (generally wealthy white women who can afford the goods and services that get marketed to them as self-care). Self-care is important for everyone, regardless of sex or economic status.
Self-care is not an indulgence, it’s an essential life requirement. It can take discipline, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities a commitment to self, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.
A few examples of self care for me:
Self-care isn’t super sexy! Which is why self-care is a discipline. It takes discipline to do the things that are good for us instead of what feels good in the moment. It takes even more discipline to refuse to take responsibility for other people’s emotional well-being. And it takes discipline to take full responsibility for our own well-being.
Self-care is also not something you do once in awhile when the world gets crazy. It’s what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It’s taking care of yourself in a way that doesn’t require you to indulge in order to restore balance. It’s making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice.
Ironically when you truly care for yourself, you are actually in a much stronger place to give of yourself to those around you. You will be a happier parent, a more grateful spouse, a fully engaged colleague. Those who take care of themselves also have the energy to work with meaning and purpose toward a worthy goal. Which means they are also the people most likely to make the world a better place for all of us.
Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.