Self-Care isn't Selfish
Self love, I truly believe, is the hardest love to master. Or at least, it has been for me.
I don’t want to be selfish, greedy, or come off as entitled. I believe in kindness, care, and in serving others. And I hate saying “no”. Because of this, canceling plans makes me feel guilty, spending money on myself makes me feel egotistical, and resting - even when it’s truly, 100% necessary, makes me feel lazy. I never want to say no to helping someone out, I strain myself way past exhaustion for the betterment of others, and sometimes even simply to avoid confrontation, and I often end up resentful because I keep giving and giving and giving, and often get little in return. However, I have come to learn not to expect return for generosity. Not because of anything negative about other people, but because my true energy, peace, gratification, and appreciation needs to come from my own self. Not from others.
I need to love myself, treat myself right, appreciate and value myself. First. And forever. Only then can I expect the same from others. Giving to myself and taking care of myself not only makes me a healthier, happier person, it makes me a better person for others to enjoy as well.
My main focus for my self-care is mental. I have long struggled with both depression and anxiety. For that reason, I have to remind myself - and I want to remind you as well - that self-care isn’t selfish, petty, or silly. Yes, sometimes I take a bubble bath and have a glass of wine. That is indeed a "silly" form of self-care. But that’s surface level care for a much deeper, and more serious issue. Taking time to breath, to reflect, to meditate, eating better, sleeping more, standing up for myself, getting treatments, getting outside, calling my sister, cleaning my house, exercising, going to the doctor, drinking more water… it’s all care. For mind and body both. And when I take those seemingly small actions, collectively, they change my life, and my attitude toward life.
Everyone is different; what we need in order to feel whole and healthy is also different. But the fact that we need to take care of ourselves…? That will never, ever change.