I understand the feeling that self-care can feel inherently selfish.
Well, cut the crap. Honestly. You have to let it go.
When you don’t take care of yourself, you become unable to take care of the world surrounding you. Full stop.
Everyone knows and acknowledges this fact. Maybe not at first, but eventually once things begin to spiral out of control, this fact will come and be all up in your face and you’ll be like “I know, I know, I know…” So, think about your everyday life - how often do you actually take the steps to ensure you practice proper self-care?
You wake up each morning, get coffee, maybe give yourself enough time to eat a meal that you cook and prepare for yourself (if you’re like me you don’t have time so something goes in a Blender Bottle or gets unwrapped.) You take care of your spouse/kids/parents, ensuring they have everything they need for work/school/the day before you shower, forget your deodorant (what, I don’t do that on a regular basis) and shoot out to a job that you maybe like? Maybe it kind of fills your soul with happiness? Filling your bank account with money is fine, you tell yourself. But you still catch yourself looking out the window, wishing you were a writer or a painter or a magician, or whatever dream actually made you happy versus the building you go to every day, the one you feel no connection to, the one where small talk exhausts you and your colleagues are nice but they’re just colleagues.
All day, your thoughts exhaust you. Work exhausts you. Caring for other people exhausts you. Man or woman, your roles in society ensure that you are taking care of someone or something at all times of the day. No pressure - just don’t let us and the world down, please. Don’t let that investment tank. Don’t miss that important email. Don’t accidentally swear in front of your kids after they’ve taken a black sharpie to the wall. Don’t remind your parents of what you “could” have been, the potential you may have wasted, the dream you didn’t live up to because it was never actually your dream to begin with.
Oh man, these thoughts suck, don’t they? Thoughts like these run through my mind on my yoga mat. I’m sure they run through yours, too.
So I get it. You don’t want to come, you don’t want to face it. It’s easier to push it aside. Who wants to care for their mental health? Who wants to listen to their brain attempt to set all of that aside for an hour or so, to attempt to connect their mind to their body? When there is so much else to care for, who wants to care for their self?
It’s a need. You need to do it. Because ultimately, you cannot keep letting your past bring you to the ground every hour of the day. You cannot let whatever pressure you feel from society impact you on a daily basis that it bleeds into your relationships and family. You cannot let a job that doesn’t fulfill your soul be your entire world and life when you wish you were doing something else with your time.
You simply cannot afford to not care for yourself, to not do the things you love that bring you peace and relaxation. Self-care is there to remind you that you are deserving of all the care you give to the world, of all the hard work you put into it.
Find your mat. Fit your practice in. Hear those thoughts when they come to you. Encourage them. Listen to them, really hear what they’re trying to tell you, and learn how to silence them when they’re not helpful.
And most importantly - do it for yourself. Your. Self.