Self-care is one of those terms that five years ago I had never heard of. But in my corner of the world, these days I hear it all the time. I use it all the time. I’m still not sure how prevalent it is in the mainstream, but it’s safe to say that it’s a booming concept in many nooks and crannies of the world.
Self-care as an act is doing things to take care of yourself. It can be anything from getting massages, doing yoga, meditating, exercising or even just reading.
It’s your time away from your responsibilities to relax and restore.
It’s a concept I love.
But I was reading some internet commentary recently that said that self-care was an excuse to just be lazy and that it was a sign of an over-privileged middle to upper middle-class needing yet another way to justify pampering themselves.
It made me sad. But I truly get it. I am single lady that has no children, I work for myself and thus choose my own schedule. I work from home often. In reality I have so much damn privilege — right?
The thing is? Taking care of yourself shouldn’t be a privilege left to just a select few. It’s something that we all need.
- It makes us better humans. Endstop.
- It gives us a chance to re-connect with what we truly value in life. If we are constantly going from one thing to the next, there is no time to evaluate if we are actually living a life that matters to us and reflects our own values. Basically, it increases your own mindfulness about your own life.
- Engaging in self-care acts reduce stress, which of course contributes to overall health and well-being.
- It makes us better workers. As a society, via labor laws, we acknowledge the power of taking breaks from work, yet we put in high-esteem those that are constantly “busy” and never take breaks. Why do we do this? It doesn’t make us better at our jobs to work non-stop. I personally find that I run my gears when I do this and don’t actually accomplish as much as when I work in small, dedicated, bursts.
- In my opinion, it sends a powerful message to yourself and those around you: that is, that you matter enough to be taken care of.
You matter. That is what self-care is all about, in my opinion. It is not a selfish act. Prioritizing your health matters.
At the end of your life will you be happy that you accomplished everything on your to-do lists and were so busy you barely had time to catch your breath? Or will you be happy that you took time to smell the roses, watch the view or take a bath? I can’t answer that question for you, but I know how I’d answer that question.