Self-care has become a topic that is talked about SO MUCH that it almost seems trendy or cliche to even bring it up. Here’s the thing though, it is talked about a lot, but it feels like it is practiced so little! WHY is that?!
Many of us look at and think of self-care as a luxury item. Self-care is oftentimes painted as getting a massage, getting your nails done, a spa day, weekend away with the girls, etc. All of these things sound absolutely amazing and are most definitely self-care, but this is not ALL that self-care is. I repeat, self-care is not JUST these seemingly luxury items and experiences.
Oxford dictionary definition: the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
World Health Organization defines Self-care as: taking all the steps you can to take care of your physical health and well-being, including hygiene, nutrition, managing stressors, and seeking medical care if needed.
You guys, self-care is literally taking care of your basic human needs! You know like sleeping, exercising, eating foods that nourish your body, socializing with other humans (and I’ll add, socializing face to face), showering, etc. Literal basic human needs! So why aren’t we doing that?
If our Grandma was in the nursing home and she wasn’t being allowed to sleep, was not being fed nutritious foods, sat in a chair all day, and spent her time alone without ever having any human interaction, that would NOT be ok. We would march our tooshies down there to talk to them about how cruelly our Grandma was being treated. We would demand better treatment because she deserves that basic human right! Am I right?! But you guys… WE ARE TREATING OURSELVES LIKE THAT!!
We are not getting enough sleep, eating life-giving foods, moving our bodies, spending time with people we love, etc. And on top of not taking care of ourselves, we are talking about how little we take care of ourselves and sometimes that talk even teeters on bragging about how little we practice self-care! Mind blown! Instead of saying “I got a full 8 hours of sleep last night and I feel great!”, more often than not, it’s “I’m so busy and so tired, I hardly got any sleep last night” or “I was tired but I had to watch another episode of ______”. Not pointing fingers because I’m totally guilty of doing this same thing!
This makes me so sad for us! I know when it comes to the topic of self-care we don’t think we need to talk about the importance of it. We’ve heard it all before… but have we listened? Have we decided that we are worthy of taking care of ourselves? It does take a bit of a choice, you may have to decide that instead of watching another episode on Netflix, you head to bed because you DESERVE your sleep. See what I did there? See how I changed the phrasing…? Instead of saying ‘head to bed because you need your sleep (which you do), saying because you deserve your sleep puts a little different perspective on that action and decision.
Time to Flip the Script!
I know I’m coming off a little strong… actually let's say passionate😉.
That’s because we (me included) need to hear this, we need to flip the script! Instead of bragging about how little we practice self-care, let’s start bragging about how flipping awesome we are at practicing our self-care! Let other women hear you talk about taking time for yourself, sleeping, reading a good book, walking the trails with a friend, etc. When other women hear us talk about how accessible, important, necessary and great self-care is, they will be inspired to also flip the script on what they’ve been telling themselves about self-care. And even more than that, hearing you speak about practicing self-care sometimes gives others the subconscious permission they needed, to also begin taking care of themselves… guilt free!
What do we want our daughters to see?
Another perspective for those of us that are moms: do we want our daughters to grow up believing that their worth is behind everyone else? That they should always put themselves, their health, and their happiness last on the list?
Do we want them growing up seeing us, their moms, never doing anything for ourselves, being stressed out, too tired to ride bikes with them, crabby because we haven’t gotten enough sleep, etc? Or do we want them to learn from us the importance of taking care of oneself? Do we want them to see us taking time to go on a walk with our friends, feeding our bodies nourishing foods, seeing us happy and less stressed out? And most importantly to know that they too, are worthy of taking care of their needs and wants. That they deserve to be happy and healthy as adult women as well? I know that that is what I hope for my daughter, and I'm sure you do too.
I really want to get into the nitty gritty of the different areas and types of self-care, the physical, emotional, mental benefits to practicing self-care, and so much more. There is so much to learn and talk about with this topic!
But instead of me writing a novel of a blog post... For now, can we make moves to practice the basic human needs of self-care? And when it’s brought up in conversation, can we proudly and confidently proclaim the amazing self-care practices that we have? I feel like that’s a really really good start. ☺
One more thing…
Back to those more “luxury” self-care things we talked about earlier. I want to reaffirm that these items (massage, nails, etc) are also AMAZING acts of love and self-care. You should most definitely do these things for yourself as well. In fact, I have a little thing called my “joy list” for things such as these! The “joy list” is quite literally a list of things that make you happy, make you feel special, and really light up your heart! You can read more about the “joy list” or "livin' the good life list" in this blog post. After reading, please please please create your own list! Share your list with your family and friends, and make sure to include things from your “joy list” in your calendar regularly - we all deserve to be happy and joyful!
Alright beautiful friend, go forth and take care of YOU! Shout it from the rooftops and inspire others to do the same!
xoxo - Chrystal