Self-Care – What It Is and Why We Should Do It

self-careSelf-care is a big phrase that’s being bandied about in the world of self-help these days. I hear life coaches, therapists and many other self-help professionals use it, but it seems like they don’t fully understand what it means. Self-care is a concept that is seemingly easy to define but very difficult to master.

What is self-care?

Self-care is basically taking good care of yourself. When you practice caring for yourself, you are treating yourself like the precious creature that you are. We are all special and important. However, we often don’t treat ourselves as if we were that way. We give all of our love, care and compassion to others. There’s not enough left over for ourselves.

Fill your cup up first

You know when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant says to you that you should put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to put it on anyone else. Well, that’s what self-care is about. You need to fill your cup up first. You have to make sure that you’re doing well and that you’re feeling healthy. It’s not selfish. It’s self-protective. So many people think that they don’t have the time or the right to engage in caring for themselves, but that’s not true. Taking care of yourself is vitally important.

What kinds of activities can be labeled as self-care?

Truthfully, there are so many activities that can be labeled as self-care.  You don’t need a lot of money or any  money to engage in them at all. It can be as simple as eating when you’re hungry or drinking water when it’s warm out. Caring for yourself can be taking an Epsom salt bath or a nap when you’re tired or cranky.

Exercise is a great form of self-care. Do what gives you joy. There’s no wrong way to do this, but you should do it every day. Make time for yourself. You’re worth it.

A final word on self-care

Self-care is not selfish. Let me reiterate that. Women especially think that taking time out for themselves is a selfish act. It is not. When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others. We have more left in the fuel tank for them. If we don’t practice good self-care routines and methods, then we will NOT burn out. Burn out is a terrible condition to live in but so many of us accept it as necessary. If you feel burnt out, practice extreme self-care. Sleep, eat, rest, relax, and read.  Just do whatever it takes to get to feeling better. I consider it an emergency situation and one that you need to pay attention to.

Good luck on your self-care journey. It’s yours and you own it. Make it your own. If you need help on learning how to practice self-care, just contact me at 512-484-7634. I am happy to teach you how to care for yourself.