We all know this fact – a car can’t function properly without adequate fuel. When our car’s fuel gauge reaches critical level, we quickly look for gas stations – desperately wanting for the car not to shut down.
Oh, how beautiful it would be if we treat ourselves like how we treat our cars – we’d quickly engage in self-care activities once we know our overall energy is low. Unfortunately, self-care is mostly considered a luxury.
Is self-care selfish? The idea that self-care is selfish comes from our desire not to look bad – we are afraid that indulging in self-care activities that make us feel good might make people misunderstand us. Some people directly affected by our choice to prioritize our wellness – family members, friends, and work associates – may also make us feel guilty about caring for ourselves.
Overcoming the Guilt That Comes with Self-Care
It’s okay to protect our self-image, especially if we have a reputation we need to take care of. However, our concern for our self-image can cause us to give lesser priority to our personal needs. This self-care guilt is evident everywhere – a young mother might choose not to pamper herself for fear of being branded as an irresponsible mom; an eldest child might find themselves depleted of resources just so he could sustain a family; a team leader might do all the tasks just to make sure the job is done.
Being tagged as “selfish” is a big blow to anyone’s self-esteem, so we go on and do what other people would want us to do without even giving attention to what we need. In the process, we unintentionally begin to think how we presume others to think – that self-care is selfish, and pampering ourselves should come with guilt. Eventually it’s easy for other people’s belief about us to become a belief we have of ourselves.
Thus, we spread ourselves thin, afraid of being called “selfish.”
But self-care is not selfish. Here are 13 reasons why.
1. Self-care is an Act of Love, Selfishness is an Act of Fear
The big difference between self-care and selfishness is intent. Our desire to pamper ourselves often comes from our yearning to love ourselves, to be free from heavy and negative emotions, and to bring peace to our minds and souls.
Selfishness comes from a place of fear and insecurities. One example is leaving a team burden to the rest of the team members without offering help just so you can enjoy the afternoon. A selfish act is different from self-care as it often disrupts, causes trouble, and is driven by unfairness.
2. Self-care Empowers
Selflessness has a good rep these days. Putting everyone’s needs first can earn you praises. However, not taking the time to listen to what you need can eventually make you feel lost, drained, and unsure of what you really want.
Self-care empowers. Choosing to intentionally care for yourself can bring back your control when it comes to choosing which things to prioritize. Taking a break for self-care can get you in touch with your inner voice which allows you to know when to say no, when to take a break, and when to slow down.
3. A Timeout for Yourself Gives You a Chance to Reassess Your Life
When was the last time you checked your to-do list and identified items that are related to self-care? Adulting brings a bunch of responsibilities – one person could face the task of juggling parenting, business, employment, and personal relationships. The responsibilities often crowd up one’s to-do list, relegating self-care routines and self-assessment further down the list.
Self-care not only empowers – it brings back control to your life. You can set aside other people’s agenda for self-assessment and self-evaluation. Finding time for yourself, for your plans, and for your goals can enable you to live life with more meaning and purpose.
4. Self-care Helps You Care for Others Better
The beautiful irony of self-care is that the more you care for your personal needs, the better you can care for others. You cannot give from an empty cup. Self-love is an antidote to stress – it replenishes energy, improves mood, and brings back the joy in life. When you’re in a better place mentally, physically, and emotionally, you’re more capable of helping other people with their concerns and problems.
5. Self-care Brings Back Your Zest for Life
If you feel like your routine is taking your zest for life, it’s time to take a break and do things that make you happy. A quick diversion from the monotony of routines can remind you that there’s more to life than routines, deadlines, and super tight schedules. Try it for a week or two and see if it ultimately stimulates more inspiration and, or productivity for you.
6. Self-care Makes You A Better Leader
Taking time for self-care makes you a more energized and more proactive leader. The process of caring for yourself will help you navigate stress and problems better. If self-love starts with you – the leader – it will be easy for you to encourage your constituents to find balance in their life through self-care activities. It also invites more EQ in the workplace which could build better relationships with your colleagues, work chemistry and again, productivity. Maybe you’ll all be able to get out of the office sooner and enjoy more personal time.
7. It Brings Back Your Self-Esteem
If you’re used to relying on other people’s opinion about you, there’s a chance that your self-esteem is pretty wounded. A simple self-care exercise of spending a few minutes in front of the mirror for affirmations like “I am enough.” and “I am one of the best people in my field.” can do wonders to your self-esteem.
8. Self-care Enables Empathy
Saying yes to self-care after a long time of wearing yourself out increases your capacity to offer empathy. Because you’ve moved from a dark place, to a place of increased self-love, your ability to understand what stressed and drained people are going through improves
9. Self-care Helps You Overcome Fear
Fear can mean different things to different people, but its effects are the same. Fear triggers worry and anxiety that could stop us from functioning to the fullest. One of the best ways to combat fear is to engage in activities that are good for your body, mind, and soul. Conquer fears by joining self-care activities that challenge you. Start something that you never think you would ever do. Learn to face fears realistically with a mindfulness session.
When we teach our mind that it can overcome fear, we develop habits that will help us overcome fear better, and like second nature.
10. Self-care Creates Balance in Your Life
In this chaotic, go-go-go world, finding a sense of balance can come as a challenge. Between checking off our to-do lists, keeping up with the news, and fulfilling responsibilities, we often find ourselves worn out physically, mentally, spiritually.
Taking a step back from the chaos and enjoying some time for yourself can help bring back a sense of balance in your life. Self-care makes you mindful, and mindfulness allows you to deal with problems, challenges, and concerns with ease, and without compromising your well-being.
11. Self-care Heals
With self-care, we can take the time to evaluate ourselves and identify which aspect of our life needs healing. Maybe you need to let go of toxic relationships that affect your inner peace. Maybe it’s time to say no to less important tasks.
Self-care opens the door to healing. Putting our needs first will also remind us that we need time for healing.
Find healing to the mind, body, and soul through self-care treatments that help release pent up stress, and negative energies like Reiki, and Intuitive Healing sessions.
12. Self-care Reminds You of Your Worth
Taking back time for yourself brings back your interest in doing things that actually brings joy and confidence to your soul. With an increased focus on self-care, you are reminded that you’re not just defined by your job or your daily tasks – you’re a person with goals and hobbies, too!
13. Self-Care Is Essential For Maintaining Good Health
I meet multiple people every day who are suffering from mental health or chronic health diseases such as cancer. I believe that a lot of these issues stem from an emotional root such as anger and powerlessness that has been piled on over time with additional layers of resentment and other types of repressed emotions from micro-triggers.
Practicing self-care is a way for you to give attention to these layers, gradually healing and ultimately reaching the emotional root, potentially preventing yourself from getting sick, while upgrading your immune system, and bettering your well-being in a holistic way.
Self-care reminds you that you owe it to yourself to be happy, to grow, to improve, and to be the person you’re destined to be.
Don’t let the stresses of daily living take away your joy and sparkle. Indulge in self-care for your peace of mind.
Say yes to self-care for happiness!
Choose self-care for your goals!
Self-care is not selfish – it’s essential.
If you’re having trouble creating or keeping up with a self-care routine, perhaps you can jumpstart the process with a Reiki or Intuitive Healing session. Learn more how they can help you find release from emotional, mental, physical and energetic stress. Click below to learn more.