Oftentimes, we treat self-care as an afterthought. We wait until we reach our lowest, the point at which we realize something needs to change and hence, we turn to self-care. However, this positions self-care as a band-aid, a temporary fix. It is important to shift our thinking to perceiving and using self-care more proactively, as a preventative measure. By doing so, we are able to better preserve ourselves and our well-being.
Benefits of Self-Care
Self-care has numerous benefits, all of which are heavily supported by research. There is a strong relationship between self-care and well-being, both physical and mental. Self-care can function to enhance the quality of our lives and can also help us to manage stressors in a relatively more effective manner. It is important to carefully consider our perceptions of self-care. Likely due to portrayals which are often conveyed in mainstream media which posit self-care as something that is often extravagant or expensive, many of us may perceive it as a luxury which is not attainable for us. However, it is important to remember that this is not the case.
Self-Care can be anything…
Self-Care is sometimes not doing self-care…
disappointment, or shame. This is a normal and valid experience. However, in regards to self-care, it is important to remember to have self-compassion and be kind to ourselves, even when we cannot get to our self-care. Doing the opposite defeats the purpose of self- care. Rather, it is important to be patient with ourselves and approach ourselves with non- judgment. Just as important is setting small goals, and being realistic and compassionate. This can be done by engaging in self-care instinctively. On some days, self-care may look like skipping out on that run in the morning, and that is perfectly okay. It is important to remember that you deserve self-care. You deserve to do things that you
enjoy and which nourish your mind, body, and soul. Self-care does not have to be earned, nor does it have to be a luxury. You are worthy of self-care.
Self-care looks different for different people. Sometimes it is participating in an activity, and other times it is respecting your limitations and need for rest. Often it is speaking to yourself as if you are your best friend. You deserve self-care. You deserve to do things that you enjoy and which nourish your mind, body, and soul just as you deserve rest. Self-care does not have to be earned, nor does it have to be a luxury.
“Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.” – Audre Lorde