I cannot say that I ever really heard “self-care” until I was pregnant and then a mom. The term self-care is thrown around a lot for moms and I did not understand the Power of Self Care until I became a mother. As a mother we spend just about every waking moment on our family. We are focused on our children, our husband, our home, we worry about their health, if they’re being fed enough, if the house is clean, if the laundry is done, if the bills are paid, and so much more. With the emotional weight of an entire family on our shoulders we have a tendency to let any “me-time” pass us by.
But what is self-care?
Self-care is about taking a moment for yourself and doing good for yourself like you would do for others. It has a lot to do with replenishing your own resources, mental and physical exhaustion, taking a moment to eat, sit down, relax, and just be compassionate to yourself.
There are many different benefits to self-care.
- Better productivity
- Improved immune system
- Enhanced self-esteem
- Increased self-knowledge
- More to give
There are many different types of self-care as well including sensory, emotional, spiritual, physical and social. This article explains these types well and gives amazing examples.
How is self-care different than being selfish?
The definition for selfish is lacking consideration for others. It is being concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
Self-care can be hard for many people. Often times if we grew up in an environment where our own emotional needs were not met we learned to take care of others needs above our own. There can be an extreme, perhaps if you tried to do something for yourself you were met with contempt, even were called “selfish.” This however, is not true. Selfish is when you’re purely thinking about yourself and it comes in a manner that is detrimental to others.
This happens a lot for women. Girls are taught, even often times unintentionally, to be the care givers. This is often times a societal norm. The mother is the primary caregiver of the children, the mother keeps the house kept, clean, cooks, and serves the emotional needs of the children. When we see this throughout our childhood it can be hard, as a woman, to not put other’s needs first. We learn to comfort others and it can be hard to not do so. It can be hard to take a moment for ourselves and if we do it can feel like we are being selfish.
What is an important difference between self-care and being selfish?
Self-care is not done with an intention to harm others.
You are taking a moment to relax, and recharge is not meant to be malicious to others. You are not trying to hurt anyone but rather trying to take care of yourself.
What are some great self-care practices?
-Make time for sleep
-Make time for exercise
-Pamper yourself, take a bath, get your nails done, get your hair done (do whatever makes you feel pampered)
-Learn to say “no”
-Scratch off an item on your to-do list
-Goof off, play for a bit.
-Unplug for an hour
-Flush out negativity, people in your life, your social media, etc