5 reasons the self-care trend isn’t selfish
As we grow up we are often told that focusing on ourselves is selfish, and that we should be giving our time and emotional energy to others instead. However when we do this, without stopping to care for ourselves, we can wear ourselves out and become less able to help others in the way we would like to.
A common misconception surrounding self-care is that it has to involve a huge effort, or significant act. Whereas the simple truth is that the most powerful self-care moments can be those in which you are still and silent, giving rest to your body and peace to your mind.
It exists in many forms and should be thought of as a general concept that embodies several different activities and concepts. Exercise, meditation, nutrition and ample sleep are key, but many smaller acts of caring for ourselves are also essential to create a greater sense of happiness.
Research has shown that taking the time to care for yourself will help you to create a better work-life balance, increase your general wellbeing and also encourage you to be more engaged at work and at home.
Self-care is far from a selfish notion, here are 5 reasons it’s an essential part of a happy life:
1. It helps you get to know yourself
When you take a few moments each day to focus on yourself, you become better able to know your own mind and understand your most authentic self. As you work towards allowing the genuine parts of yourself to flourish, you will be able to share this realness with others.
2. It encourages enjoyment
Giving yourself the time to discover new parts of yourself, new likes and new passions helps you to discover the things in life that you truly enjoy and wish to give your time to. You can then open up these experiences to other people and invite those around you to share them too.
3. It prompts self-reflection
There are likely aspects of your life that you don’t like but believe to be necessary. When you open your mind to self-care, you will naturally start to reflect on the things that you would like to change. This can quickly lead to you taking action and living the life that you want. This can be incredibly inspirational to those who look up to you, and you could find yourself motivating others to make similar positive changes!
4. It connects body and mind
Building the connection between your body and mind is an incredible way of becoming more aware your physical and mental health, which will enable you to work out what boosts your wellbeing. That puts you in the best position — full of energy and enthusiasm to take care of those around you!
5. It acknowledges good and bad
If you are someone who believes that certain emotions, like anger, sadness, grief, frustration, are negative and shouldn’t be given a voice then you are definitely not alone! This is something that we are conditioned to believe from a young age, but self-care can help to reverse this idea.
Giving yourself the time to explore all of your emotions, and allowing yourself to feel and express any negativity you are experiencing, is key to processing these emotions. When you are able to do this yourself, you will then understand the importance of giving others the support to do the same.
Julie Montagu is yoga and nutrition teacher