Self-care isn't selfish

Why Self-Care is so Important

Myth: self-care is selfish

Hello friends! I know you’ve all heard the term self-care, and seen it thrown around on the daily. Everything you see, hear, and read tells you to practice self-care.  Yet, so many of us shy away from it, or tell ourselves “yeah sounds nice maybe I’ll try it later”.  For some reason, we tell ourselves that taking time out of our day to take care of ourselves is selfish. Guys, and I can not stress this enough, self-care isn’t selfish!  

It’s just a trendy thing!

I know you hear and see the words “self-care” attached to almost everything.  From blogs/vlogs, podcasts, and even commercials now.  It’s almost as if the term “self-care” is a cheap buzzword. Leading the newest fads and trends in lifestyle and mental health growth.   Even if it looks like it, don’t turn your nose up at the idea.  Self-care is more than just a trend, or a flashy clickbait topic. At its core its probably one of the most beneficial and balanced practices you can do for your health and growth as a person. Yet, it’s probably one of the last things people think about doing when it comes to taking care of themselves.

Why self-care is so important!

Let’s talk about why self-care is so important in our lives. You can go to tons of blogs, listen to podcasts and watch vlogs, they will all tell you how to practice self-care and often why it’s so important.  Why, because it has a direct effect on EVERY aspect of our lives and how we interact!  

Self-care is loosely defined as taking any deliberate action in order to directly affect and care for the mental, emotional, and physical health.   Self-care is so important because when we don’t take the time to refuel our mental and physical energy, the negative effects on all aspects of our life start to have a detrimental effect.  Relationships, physical health, mental wellbeing, how we love ourselves all take direct hits when we neglect our own need for those moments that recenter and refuel us. That’s why it’s so important to remember that self-care isn’t selfish.

self-care isn't selfish

What happens when you neglect yourself

We see it everyday, busy parents, busy lives, busy busy busy everything! The LAST thing you have time for is yourself.  I get it, I can even hear you scoffing as you read this,  and yet there is something to all this self-care stuff.  Let’s talk about what happens to you and your life when you neglect yourself.

Negativity and Fatigue

Often when you neglect time to recharge, the first thing that sets in is fatigue followed by negativity.  It takes energy to be positive and to try and look for the best in people and situations.  If you don’t have that energy or that mental/spiritual reserve to fall back on in hard times then the negativity all around you can walk right in and knock you to the ground.  

You tend to have less patience with others, including your friends, family, and people in general. What’s worse is the first person you lose patience with is yourself.  Who takes the brunt of your most negative thoughts?  That’s right you do.  When negativity takes over everyone around you can feel it, but you’re the one that it hits the hardest.

Lowered Self-esteem.

When you neglect taking time out for self-care that negativity takes direct aim at your insecurities.  You feel less than, not good enough. You’ve given everything you have to everyone else and have nothing left for yourself.  As a result, you are left feeling not good enough. You begin to think that no one cares about you, maybe even that you don’t deserve to be cared about.  Feelings like this lower your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.  Two things that we so desperately need to be strong in today’s world. That sense of empowerment we struggle with, that need to be seen and heard, all hinges on the level of self that we develop and maintain. 

Relationship Hardships

It’s an easy jump from negativity and hits to our self-esteem to relationship problems.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when you give too much of yourself without returning that energy, resentment sets in.  Hand in hand with the negativity, you start to find yourself picking fights, feeling unhappy or resentful in your daily communications with friends and loved ones. 

We see this ALL the time on social media, and have even fallen victim to it many times. You’re cranky and unhappy with yourself. Most likely bored as well, next thing you know you have sore thumbs from typing on your phone as you go to war over the internet over things that honestly at the end of the day won’t change in your life or the lives others.  Or perhaps you find yourself snapping at your kids or partner?  A friend offers some advice and you find yourself arguing with them and being frustrated. 

This happens due to a combination of the things we’ve talked about above. Negativity, fatigue, giving too much of ourselves causing resentment, and lowering our sense of self.  It’s really hard to show love and happiness to others when you neglect to make time to show it to yourself. Read that again, slowly. It’s important!  How can you be a loving, giving, and healthy person in a relationship (any type of relationship) when you haven’t been those things to yourself?  Growing anything takes time, patience, and love. Needless to say, self-care isn’t selfish, it can’t be.  This is why self-care is so important! 

Self-care isn't selfish

Self-care is hard

That’s right, anything of worth in your life is never usually easy.  Taking time out for yourself feels dirty. It feels SELFISH.  We aren’t used to taking time to just sit quietly with our thoughts, prayers, and honestly with our introspection. 

Practicing self-care can be difficult because one, it takes effort. You have to be in control of taking time out of that busy day for yourself.  It’s not easy to routinely get up and pray for a few minutes, or do a 20-minute meditation.  Journaling is one of the best acts of self-care there is and yet its SO hard to make yourself sit down and do it on a daily basis. It’s easier to just throw yourself into the chaos of the day and try to power through it.

Secondly, it hashes up emotions. When you’re practicing self-care it means cleaning up old broken bits and making room for the new healthier bits to fill the space. Shame and guilt are some of the top feelings that tend to thrash around during self-care time. You end up feeling guilty, or like you’re being selfish for needing that 20 minutes of quiet time at the end of the night or when you first wake up.  Feelings of shame cloud your need for an afternoon nap, or quick meditation to recenter your brain, making you feel lazy for indulging. Let’s not forget about the feelings of guilt that pop up when you spend money on a girls day out getting a pedi/mani or going to lunch.   It’s feelings like these that make it hard to believe self-care isn’t selfish.

It’s worth the time, every time!

As you can see, the negative effects of ignoring yourself can take a toll on every important aspect of your life.  A little bit every day goes a long way towards your mental/emotional well being, not to mention your physical health. We all know the physical damage stress does to the body!  

It really doesn’t take much if you’re trying to find time to fit some things in, start small. Make sure you get quality sleep every night. If this means setting a bedtime for yourself then try it!  Eating better is always high on the self-care list.  When we fill our bodies with junk we FEEL like junk! Give yourself permission to laugh. Stop taking every moment or interaction so hard. Laugh at the silly things, bring that warmth into your heart.  Wake up in the morning and take a few minutes to thank yourself for showing up today.  Tell yourself “I love you” OFTEN!  If you are looking for a few easy ways to start a self-care routine, check out this article from psychology today

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s something vital to creating a healthy and vibrant relationship with yourself. When you take the time to create these moments, not only does your self-worth grow, but you are able to create love and light for others that cross your path!  You create growth within yourself, and that allows for growth all around you!  Ditch the feelings of shame or guilt, toss out the excuses about not enough time, and EMBRACE yourself.  Take care of who you are and watch that wonderful person shine out to the rest of the world!  Until next time, always remember that you are never alone! 

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Tired of battling low self-esteem, zero self-worth, and an emotional eating addiction, Amber created Amberable to share her journey with those who may be struggling. Hoping to empower, inspire and heal others like herself