Self-Care isn't Selfish - and here's 10 reasons why...
Self-care isn’t Selfish - one of the best soundbites of 2019. Here are a few home-truths before we get going then.
I used to think that self-care was a really w**** expression for just being a bit narcissistic and going regularly to a spa (I still love a spa, if anyone wants to pay for me to go to one for the day…)
And then I tried to run a business, teach a day-job, have a third freelance performing role and raise two children. And did none of the things that I now class as self-care. And I was absolutely exhausted. I was irritated. I was snappy. I was overwhelmed.
Then I bought a Positive Planner (if you’re local and you’d like one just drop me a message!) and started thinking about what self-care might actually mean to my life.
I started to realise that prioritising tiny acts of kindness to myself through the day might actually help me. I started to realise that the more self-care I gave myself the nicer a person I was to my family. I started to realise that the more self-care I gave myself the more I encouraged it in my clients. I started to realise the more I looked after myself the more I’d make rapid gains in my business.
So, here are my top 10 reasons - when you’ve read them I’d love to know what yours are in the comments below…
10. A big act of self-care for me is putting my phone away half an hour before bed and reading. This has threefold benefits - a) I forget about work; b) I sleep better; c) I feel more inspired. WINNING.
9. Self-care makes me a better wife - there is nothing that makes me happier than me having a Saturday morning bath while my husband watches TV with the kids in their PJs. I’m more relaxed, they’re more relaxed - we’re all happier and more appreciative of each other for the rest of the weekend.
8. Self-care forces you to examine this truth - this is a time when we’ve been taught that being totally obsessive about work is something about which we should be enormously proud. But what if there’s more to all of it than that? It forces us to examine that there might be more to life than work.
7. Self-care encourages creativity. Creativity encourages better mental health. Better mental health is a good thing.
6. Self-care enables to be of better service to those around us - quite simply, we have more space in our brains and (yes I’m saying it) in our hearts to be of service to others. Less resentment, more gratitude. Less noise, more space to devote to others.
5. Self-care gives us time to think - and when we have time to think we often have our best ideas. Ideas for our business, our home, our kids. I know that when going for a walk in nature I will often have an amazing idea for POM, that never would have come had I been sat “doing work” (looking blankly at my laptop).
4. Self-care is a great example to set to our kids - I don’t want my children run ragged, never stopping to enjoy their own company and the joy of right now. I know (and I’m not judging myself) that too often the first thing I do when I sit down is get out my phone to check it - but what about if I got out a book instead, or started some knitting? What a brilliant example to set to my children!
3. Self-care encourages positive thoughts. It’s certainly true to say that if you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of negativity it’s really easy to feel like you don’t deserve self-care. But the more self-care you give yourself the more you realise how much you deserve it. A delightful virtuous circle.
2. Self-care is all about doing it YOUR way, so it’s a wonderful lesson in trusting your own instincts. You don’t have to suddenly develop a passion for colouring in, create a separate tab in your spending spreadsheet just for spa days, or become a master crocheter. The more you build self-care into your life, the more you realise what you need. That might be time outside every day, an hour before bed without your phone, leaving jobs that you LOVE doing to a point when you can really dedicate time to them. Whatever works for you - listen to your experience and instincts, and do it that way.
1. At a time when life can often make us feel impotent, self-care reminds us that we are in charge. That what we get to do with our time is our choice. And that’s really rather wonderful.
Post-script: whilst relying solely on self-care to handle depression is something I would not recommend, the Blurt Foundation writes a brilliant article on why it’s self-care matters when you have depression.