The Mighty Logo

You Are Not Selfish for Practicing Self-Care

So, for most of last year, I was tired. And by tired, I mean I was increasingly exhausted mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Work and school had both been hectic and stressful. My personal life … well, that was in shambles. My mental illnesses had especially increased from all this stress and turmoil. Thus, self-care was even more important for me to accomplish, and to maintain.

Self-care means to take care of yourself in activities and hobbies that are enjoyable and therapeutic. According to Raphailia Michael from Psych Central, self-care helps to improve your mood and reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Self-care can include: sleeping for consistent hours regularly, eating healthily, exercising, writing, completing artistic activities, remaining still in a safe place, listening to music, being in a place of worship, being in nature, watching a movie, reading, playing games, spending time with loved ones and even petting animals.

Self-care is crucial to implement in our lives. Not only does self-care assist in improving our mood and reducing stress, it also helps us be healthier emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. Self-care helps us accomplish our tasks and goals much more effectively without feeling drained or overwhelmed. Days of self-care are also better when planned to further cement self-care as an active choice. Making sure you’re medically up to date also helps in making sure you’re healthy and well.

I used to believe self-care was selfish; I still struggle in feeling that taking a day or even an hour to myself is wrong when I have obligations to fulfill and people to see. However, over the past few years of being in therapy and being surrounded by more positive, healthier people, I’ve come to be more accepting of the fact self-care isn’t selfish. On the contrary, I believe it’s selfless to give yourself a recharge to be of better service in your career, family life, school, etc.

It’s difficult to accomplish or complete anything with three-quarters of gas in your gallon. Therefore, self-care is necessary in refueling your tank to feel more rested, relaxed, fulfilled and content. You’re not selfish for wanting self-care; in fact, you’re causing yourself more harm if you don’t take time to take care of your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual well-being.

I’ve been actively seeking out more self-care for myself in lieu of everything happening in my life. I draw, listen to music, watch Netflix, exercise, write, craft, relax at Starbucks, go to a bookstore or the library, read, play games, spend time with loved ones and pet my cats. I continue to attend therapy and had my medication fixed to help me be more balanced. Some days I struggle to complete self-care; however, I’ve been doing better in overcoming the thought of how “selfish” self-care is, as well as planning days or times throughout the week where I’m able to take moments to myself to complete self-care.

My encouragement to you is this: love yourself enough to take care of yourself. You are not selfish for taking time to better yourself and to rest. Self-care is an active way to help you have a balanced life; self-care takes discipline and time to learn and to incorporate, but it’s extremely worth it.

Unsplash image by Radu Florin

Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home