Self-Care is Not Selfish


February 18, 2019

Dear Diary,

Self-care does not equal selfish.

In the process of becoming my future-self,  I have learned to prioritize myself and my own healing, so that I can become of value for those around me.  It’s no secret I’m a busy bee and in high demand when it comes to catering to the needs of my friends and family.  I have already opened up and shared with you how I spent my time juggling every aspect of life, along with altering old habits and adopting positive changes for my future self.  Like any other woman, we often sacrifice so much for our families, partners, children, businesses, friends & even pets, putting very little energy back into ourselves.

In the midst of all of these things, I had to push the pause button and develop a routine to bring my own wellbeing to the forefront of my experience.  Full-disclosure-- therapy works! Albeit an expensive part of my healing, the process of therapy taught me a lot about myself and what fuels my soul. I learned to move past any preconceived notions I had about therapy, and really open up to an impartial individual who was there to listen, without judgment, and provide me with the tools I needed to better myself.  Here are a few nuggets I’ve learned on this journey:

Self-care is not selfish.

Allow me to repeat, SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH!

Self-care is the process of nourishing yourself.  When I think about what a self-care routine should entail, I consider the practices that will help nurture my physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs.  So when I say that self-care does not equate to selfishness, it’s to demonstrate that regular self-care practices can prevent you from stress, burn out, or other ailments associated with overworking yourself.  

Relish in your alone time.

Knowing yourself causes you to love yourself.  It’s weird to think that sometimes we know the people in our lives better than we know ourselves.  So imagine, what it would feel like if you took the time to treat yourself the way you treated others around you.  All too often we lack compassion and kindness for ourselves but are so readily able to give that to another. By spending time alone,  I was able to focus on my yoga and meditative practices. Through inward reflection and connecting with my soul’s purpose, my health started to improve, I developed better nutritional habits, and I became more aware of myself.  

Be still. Do nothing!

Often our society is so focused on constantly being busy that we forget to slow down. It is perfectly healthy to do little to nothing if it helps you recenter.   Drop your devices, take a nap, have a tea, sit in silence - productivity should not equate to your worth. We don't have to be busy all the time. This practice has taught me that some days being alone, reading a book or binge-watching Gossip Girl on Netflix is purposeful.  It causes me to recharge because, let’s face it, I’m no good to anyone else if I cannot properly take care of myself.

Know when to say, “No”!

Saying “no” is crucial to a healthy self-care practice.  It places you in control of where and how you exert your energies.  Too often, I say “yes” or “absolutely” and immediately regret my decision.  Saying “No” is not selfish and can actually be so empowering. The energy you save by setting boundaries can be used to enhance other aspects of your life.

Shaking up your routine.

Out with the old and in with the new!  Shaking up your routine is a great self-care practice to keep you interested in your own life.  I started this process by prioritizing and scheduling my self-care practices FIRST. Once I made time for those priorities, then I focused on all of the other wonderful parts of my life. For example, my personal nutrition was never a priority for me.  Crazy, right? I would work 14 hour days without eating or taking a break. It wasn’t until I started noticing changes in my body, that I started to prioritizing healthy eating habits. Now, I set alarms throughout the day to remind myself to eat. This minor change has made a major difference in my life.  I no longer take meetings over lunch or during the times when I’m focused on my nutrition. I also wasn’t ashamed to share these changes with the people in my life. By sharing with those around me, I was able to have open and honest discussions about the importance of self-care and create positive and healthy relationships.  

I’m here to remind you to be kind to yourself.  Self-love should always be your first and best love!