Self-care instead of New Year’s Resolutions
As we venture into a new year, we have an opportunity to start afresh and set course to a new path. but we can not do this when we are not okay. This year, we are suggesting navigating to self-care town where we start by taking care of ourselves.
Oftentimes, when certain people hear the word ‘self-care’, it comes off to them as being selfish or vain. Taking care of yourself is often misconstrued as being self-centered and even being self-absorbed by others who are somewhat ‘dependent’ on you. Self-care is anything but selfish. You have probably heard the quote “you can’t give what you don’t have” a couple of times, and to be honest, this exactly sums up what self-care is.
So, what exactly is Self-Care?
First of all, we need to establish that self-care means different things to different people, so there is no one-size-fits-all template as to what self-care really looks like.
However, whatever you do for yourself that prioritizes YOU as an individual, your mental health, your needs; physically, psychologically, spiritually and in any other wise, whatever you do that allows you to be gentle with yourself, treating yourself with compassion and kindness, helps you grow and keeps you well rested, yeah that is self-care. It is basically taking care of yourself, because you are important too.
Our nature as humans requires us to be different things to different people, and all of these people have different expectations from us. We get so busy and sometimes lost fulfilling these roles, that we often forget how to really take care of ourselves without coming off as selfish. While treating others with care is paramount, there is a balance between caring for others and ourselves. It is a place where you connect with your internal self, taking some time off where you have me-time and just doing the things that make you feel good. This leads to reinforcing your own importance, because you are.
Many times, we are very quick in extending such great hands of love to others, treating them with the utmost respect, checking on them to make sure they are doing okay. Whilst all these are helpful and kind, you can’t really pour out so much of yourself without needing a ‘top up’. Your cup needs to be full of self-care to be able to care for others.
Sometimes we all could use a little break from everything and everybody to better manage our stress and frustration. I’m not talking in a way that alienates people or makes you become so lackadaisical about things that are important, but in a way that helps you go after and do the things that matter to you and bring you joy without the fear of judgement or shame.
Why Self-Care is Not Selfish
You need to be fully in tune with who you are and what your needs are, to be able to sufficiently serve others. The love that you have for yourself is what naturally flows to others. The kindness and compassion that you choose to treat yourself with is how you choose to treat others. It is when you devote time regularly to self-care that you express these things to yourself and when it comes to taking care of others, it’s not forced or faked. It is hence genuine.
It helps to also surround yourself with people who understand and practice self care themselves. The world will be a better, peaceful and more balanced place when everyone takes a little time to do what makes them show up as better individuals.
So, whether your idea of self-care is a staycation at a beach house, a day out at the spa, cooking and eating your favorite meal, a solo date at the movies, a walk in the park, outsourcing all your chores, to mention but few, go ahead and do it because contrary to what some people may think, self-care is not selfish, it is absolutely necessary.
In closing, as you venture in 2022, we encourage you to schedule self-care as a priority this year.
Written by Esther DaCosta and in Collaboration with Rapid Action Health