Self-Care – Is it Selfish?

  • heart shape from hands around the rising sun

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-Care – If you can’t take care of yourself first, then you will have nothing left to give to others or to put it another way, if you don’t have it, you can’t give it.

Cars and Fuel

We go to the petrol station and put petrol in our car then it goes fine until the tank runs empty. When it does, our car has got nothing left to give and stops. To make sure that it doesn’t stop, we need to make sure that we keep the car’s tank with some fuel in it.

Seems so obvious when you talk about cars and petrol, but human beings seem to think that there is some spiritual force that will allow them to break what is a natural law and continue to give without filling their tank.

Difference between Self-Care and Selfish

Self-care is nurturing ourselves, validating ourselves and taking care of the emotional side of ourselves. However, it is common for people to say if you do that, then you are selfish because you should be focused on everyone else and not yourself.

But selfishness is really about being self-absorbed to the point where everything is about you and is never about anyone else, while self-care as a way of topping up our tank is about looking after ourselves so that we can help and focus on other people as well. There is a significant difference.

Another way to look at self-care is that it is an internal emotional tune-up that helps us to function better, much like a car runs better after having its electronic/mechanical tune-up.

Sounds great, but who has time to do it?

We are way too busy, there are way too many demands and seemingly way too little time. So how can we self-care when our time is limited?

Let’s look at some of the benefits of self-care first, just so that we can see how important it is.

• When you give yourself a few minutes daily, you get to know yourself better. Ever want to be authentic, then you need to know who you are first
• You can’t take care of others unless you do self-care. If your body is not healthy, your brains had enough, and you feel spent, used up, and burned out, then there is no chance of you helping others
• Want to go from simply existing and feeling like you’re living? A little bit of self-care is a difference that you’re looking for
• Ever wonder why you’re here? A little bit of self-care and getting to know yourself is a great way to start to find out what your purpose in life is
• Want to be empowered? The only person who knows the real you is your inner self, and the only way to connect with the inner self is to take time out for self-care
• Want to get motivated? There is nothing less motivating than being run down and drained. Self-care builds you up, empowers you, refreshes you, and tops up that tank so you can go the distance
• Want to feel validated? Taking the time to focus on yourself and exercise self-care is the greatest way to say you matter.

So now you know the importance of self-care, let’s discuss how you can fit self-care into what is for everyone these days is a busy day.

Lets Go

1. Set a specific time slot in which you will do something you want to do. Now, this doesn’t mean it has to be for an hour or more. It could be 15 minutes; it could be half an hour, and it could be longer. It could be as simple as a 30-minute bath.
2. Get some exercise. It does not have to be strenuous. Start by making sure that you walk a little bit more than usual during the day.
3. Make sure you get enough sleep. When we are asleep, our brain detoxifies itself.
4. Keep a journal. When I say a journal, I’m talking about one in a brief dot-point format. Record what you do during the day I think you’ll be surprised what you do, and I think it will boost how you feel about yourself. Keeping a journal allows you to see when changes will bring benefits to your life.
5. Make sure you talk to friends and family. Make sure those you choose to talk to are supportive of you. Networking with other people is a great booster.
6. Read a fictional book. Fictional books require us to use our brain to be creative as we imagine the characters and the storylines as we read the book. Great escapism and a great way to exercise your creativity. Reading regularly helps to keep your mind sharp.
7. Listen to a podcast on something that is of interest. It exercises the brain and expands your world.
8. Listen to some music that makes you feel great. Research indicates that listening to music enhances already positive emotions and is a great booster for your mood.
9. Go for a walk outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes
10. Reduce stress by being realistic about what is stressing you. Some research says stress may be contagious, and the more stressed we think we are, the worse it is for us

And There is More

11. Make sure you focus on the present, not the past and future. Focusing on the present brings us back to focusing on where we are now and what we are experiencing now. Not spreading your energy over three-time frames (past, present, and future) empowers us.
12. Try to be happy. There is research that suggests that feeling happy may affect our health for the better. Apparently, there is a simple way to feel more uplifted, and that is to crack a smile.
13. Try some meditation. Most people say they don’t have time for meditation but click on this link, and you’ll find out “How to meditate in 10 easy steps”

14. Focus on eating better. Fruit and vegetables actively enhance health
15. Look at something cute. Looking at pictures of baby animals is usually an instant mood booster and can boost your productivity.
16. Try decluttering. Clutter can stress us out.
17. Pamper yourself with a massage.
18. Cuddle. Cuddling is good because physical contact reduces stress and releases a hormone that enhances happiness
19. Take a vacation, however short.
20. Be assertive. Assertive means standing up for yourself by being tactful rather than aggressive. Being diplomatic is a good description of assertiveness. If you’re not assertive, you risk being passive and becoming resentful.
21. Wear clothes that make you feel good
22. Make sure you drink enough water as this hydrates the skin, makes you look better and feel better and flushes toxins out of your body

Summary

• Self-care is essential if you want to have the capacity to give to others
• Self-care and selfish are two very different things
• Self-care has huge benefits
• Self-care can be fit into a busy day (22 ways are listed in this article)

You’ll be amazed how counselling can help you practice self-care

You will find that talking with StartPoint Counselling Beenleigh is your starting point for happy relationships and mental wellbeing.

StartPoint Counselling Practice is conveniently located in Beenleigh close to Logan, Mt Warren Park, Stapylton, Homeview, Waterford, Loganholme and Yatala areas. However we also offer phone consultations for your convenience, see more about Booking Appointments here.

We offer a 15-minute complimentary phone session with one of our experienced counsellors. Your relationship to yourself, impacts all your other relationships. Find out how we can help you to love yourself, so you can focus on bettering your other relationships.