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Finding Balance – Self-Care is NOT Selfish

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265 Views

Jennifer Russo

The term self-care or even radical self-care has been tossed around quite a bit lately, but what does it mean?  Self-care can be defined as just that, taking care of yourself.  This means making sure your body is healthy, your brain and emotions are healthy, and ensuring that you are in a state of being that is centered around wellness for both you and others.  

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t embrace the idea of self-care because they think it can be perceived as selfishness or self-indulgence.  For those of us who have ever been on an airplane, we’ve all heard the introductory lecture of what to do in an emergency.  One of the most important statements in that script is that we must put our own oxygen mask on before we assist others with theirs.  On the surface this may seem a selfish idea, however, we can’t be there for others if we can’t breathe.

We need to let ourselves breathe.  Not just in the physical sense, but allowing ourselves time to process our day, our world, our stresses.  We need to take the time to relax, unwind and do things for ourselves which create joy and health.  This is especially true for those of us who might be parents or otherwise responsible for taking care of other people a lot of the time.

Go to that gym class or stick to a health regiment.  Get your hair or nails done or get that massage you need.  Go on that day trip and adventure a bit.  Go for a walk or to the beach and stick your feet in the water.  See a therapist if you need some help getting through some things.  Make time to see your doctor if something is ailing you.  Go to bed early if you’re tired.  Take a break. Express some gratitude for YOURSELF.  Studies show this helps your stress levels, immune system, confidence, and general productivity.

Whatever self-care means for you (and it is different for everyone), let’s be clear – this isn’t selfishness at all.  it’s promoting your own wellbeing and equipping you to manage the stresses of your normal routine.  You are choosing to promote your own health.  By doing so, you are better prepared to help other people in your life that you care about, and no one should make you feel guilty for it, even you.

You’re worth it.  Namaste.

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