Oftentimes the idea of self-care brings to mind overindulgent spa treatments or shopping sprees. While there is a time and a place for facials and retail therapy, neither of those things qualify as authentic self-care. They’re also the reason many people equate self-care with selfishness.
Self-care is not about pampering yourself or treating yourself to the latest and greatest. It doesn’t require spending exorbitant amounts of money to feel better. Self-care is about taking the time to care for yourself in the most basic of ways. We often neglect self-care in favor of looking after others, whether that’s family members or friends. But setting aside space to check in with and show up for yourself is the basis of self-care.
Sure, self-care can involve some at-home skin treatments or taking a bath. It can also mean sitting out in the sun, going for a walk in nature, or something as simple as doing a craft or going to bed a little earlier. Everyone has their preferred self-care practices that help them get back to center. What are your go-to methods for self-care?
When practiced properly, self-care isn’t selfish. It helps you reconnect with yourself so you can show up in life as the best version of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll feel more stressed and irritable and likely take these feelings out on the people you love. The following are 9 important reasons why self-care isn’t selfish.
1. It serves as a “time out” from the stresses of the world.
It’s hard to slow down and take a step back from everyday responsibilities when you’re in the thick of things. An object in motion stays in motion, after all. Setting aside time for self-care isn’t selfish; it carves out a little bit of space in your busy life to take a “time out” from all the stress of daily life.
2. It offers time to recharge.
You can’t recharge when you never take the time to slow down and rest. You probably convince yourself that you don’t have spare moments with all the things you need to get done. But if you don’t recharge then you’re quick to anger and frustration. Self-care is a time for you to pause, rest, and recharge so you can handle life with a clear head.
3. It allows you to engage in activities that you enjoy.
Oftentimes your interests end up pushed to the side when you have a full life with family, work, and friends. Self-care gives you the time to engage in activities that you enjoy without worrying about whether others enjoy them. Engaging in activities that you love makes it easier to participate in those that are less exciting later on.
4. It gives you space for self-reflection.
We are nothing without self-reflection. If you don’t pause and reflect on how you’re moving through life, you can easily do or say things that you don’t mean. Self-care isn’t selfish because it’s the perfect reflection time. Self-reflection asks you to consider your actions and empowers you to live intentionally.
5. It serves as a practice to redefine what’s important to you.
When you’re busy and get into the groove of things, you may forget to reconsider your priorities. Are the things you’re spending time on truly things you enjoy? If not, your self-care time gives you the opportunity to redefine what is and isn’t important to you.
6. It lets you show up authentically in the world.
When you’re spending time recharging and reflecting, it ensures that you’re showing up as the most authentic version of yourself. It allows you to clear away the aspects of yourself that hold you back to make space for your character assets.
7. It allows you to effectively care for others.
There’s truth behind the cliché of putting on your oxygen mask before putting on someone else’s. Until you know how to care for yourself and put it into practice, you’ll never be able to care for others effectively. For this reason alone self-care isn’t selfish; it allows you to better help others.
9. It reminds you that you are worth it.
It’s easy to forget that you’re worth the time and effort when you’re in the groove of daily life. Setting aside time for self-care isn’t selfish; it reminds you that you are worth the time and energy that you so willingly give to others.
10. It is an empowering practice.
Self-care is the most effective way to show up as the true, authentic version of yourself. When practiced properly, it’s an empowering practice that rejuvenates and reconnects you with you!
Finding Professional Help
Shoreline Center for Eating Disorder treatment is an intensive eating disorder treatment facility for anyone ages 13 and older. Our programs work with individuals trying to overcome anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and more. We approach treatment using a multidisciplinary team of specialists who understand the way eating disorders manifest.
Shoreline takes a compassionate, comprehensive path to treatment using evidence-based modalities with our clients. If you’re looking for an individualized, caring approach to eating disorder treatment, we are here to help. Reach out to us to speak with an admissions specialist today, who can answer any questions you may have or connect you to the program that’s right for you!