It's time to talk about self-care, and why we've got to stop treating it like it's a dirty word. Self-care is a buzzword that has been thrown around a lot in recent years. It's not hard to see why – with fast-paced lives and constant demands on our time and energy, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and neglect our own needs. But for some reason, we've come to believe that taking care of ourselves is selfish or indulgent. But the truth is, self-care is essential to our well-being, and it's not something we should feel guilty about.
Self-care is all about taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. It's about recognizing when you need a break and giving yourself permission to take that break. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive, and it doesn't have to take up a lot of time (unless you really want to take that week-long beach vacay). It can be as simple as taking a walk outside, reading a book, lighting up your favorite CarteHaus candle, or taking a long, hot bath. The important thing is that it's something that we do for ourselves, with the intention of improving our well-being.
So why do we feel guilty about taking care of ourselves? Maybe it's because many people believe that taking care of themselves is a luxury, something that can only be done after everything else has been taken care of. Or with hustle culture becoming more prominent than ever, we're taught that we should always be productive and that taking a break is a sign of weakness. Another likely problem is that we're so busy taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves (I'm looking at you, moms). Whatever the reason, it's time to change our mindset.
Think of it like this: when we're on an airplane, the oxygen mask drops down in front of us. The first thing we're told to do is put our own mask on before helping others. The reason for this is simple – if we're not able to breathe, we won't be able to help anyone else. The same principle applies to self-care. If we're not taking care of ourselves, we won't be able to take care of anyone else. When we take the time to reenergize ourselves, we're more patient, loving, and present. We're also more productive and more creative. When we neglect ourselves, we become stressed, exhausted, and burnt out. That type of neglect isn't doing anyone any favors.
Self-care is also essential for maintaining our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. When we ignore our own needs, we can become physically and emotionally exhausted. This can lead to a host of long-term, chronic health problems, including anxiety, depression, and even physical illness. But, when we take care of ourselves, we're better able to handle the demands of everyday life and our emotions, which makes us better equipped to deal with stress.
So, let's start treating self-care like the essential practice it is. Let's give ourselves permission to take breaks when we need them, set boundaries on things that drain our energy and learn to say 'no' to things that don't serve us. Tell yourself it's okay to treat yourself to little luxuries, whether that's a glass of wine, a new cozy candle, or your favorite Laduree macaron. Let's prioritize our own well-being, and recognize that it's a necessity. Let's stop feeling guilty about taking care of ourselves, and start celebrating it instead.
Let's take the selfish stigma away from investing in ourselves. Self-care isn't selfish, and selfish isn't a dirty word. It's a beautiful, essential practice that we should all embrace. So, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to take care of yourself. You deserve it!