Self-care is the art of meeting our needs, in order to be able to operate at full throttle.
Without it, we eventually become burned out and are unable to give as much of ourselves to others.
Hence, self-care is a wholly unselfish act—although it can feel the opposite when we first start to prioritize it.
Self-care is also a great deal more than pampering ourselves—although pampering can be an important element to it.
True self-care is ensuring that all of our needs—spiritual and emotional, as well as mental and physical—are met. It requires self-knowledge and courage.
Why courage? Because, once we’re clear on what all of our needs are, we then need to set some boundaries. And that often means beginning to say “no” to people who are used to always hearing “yes” from us.
When we start to practice authentic and radical self-care, others around us can bristle—if our new-found commitment to our own wellbeing affects the level of attention they’re used to receiving from us.
This is when the “selfish” label starts to arise. And we must reject it when it does.
Selfishness is mindlessly and non-compassionately putting our own needs and wants ahead of the needs of others.
Self-care is prioritizing our own needs so that we are better able to help others meet theirs—and taking care of other people’s needs only where it is appropriate for us to do so.
Self-care is refusing to allow truly selfish people to project their needs on to us for fulfillment.
At times when we find our energy levels are depleted, or enthusiasm for life is lacking, then we need to take a look at our whole life and determine what needs are getting overlooked.
With each area of your life, ask yourself what you need to have in place in order to able to be the best version of yourself.