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Self Care Isn’t Selfish

Many people feel that when they take time for themselves that they are being selfish, but it’s just not true. Self care is vital for us to continue to care for others and all our responsibilities.

How to know if you are being selfish or not?  You would think we would not need to ask this question, however in this day and age it is even more important. Our culture (especially for women) is to do for others. We are expected to do it all and do it with a smile on our face. But this would be why we have so much overwhelm, anxiety and depression, because it is just not possible to do everything without also doing for ourselves.

So how do you know if you are being selfish or not?

Selfishness never brings joy, peace, or love, it creates an inner and outer experience of isolation and loneliness. It does not create an opportunity to share, nurture, or serve. Selfishness is a choice to always think only of your needs and desires. 

Self-care chooses to respect your inner desires and needs in order to fulfill your potential, achieve your purpose and find joy. Sometimes this requires you to put yourself first for a while. Personal care allows for more sharing and caring, so there is plenty to offer without being exhausted or overwhelmed. Self-care allows you to serve others well because you have recognized your own value and cultivated ways to fill yourself and fill your well.

I know we have heard the analogy of the facemask on the airl=plane. Always put your own facemask on before trying to help others. We will be no good to anyone if we pass out from lack of oxygen. This is true for our whole lives, so why do we not do it? Or why do we feel guilty if we do take time for ourselves?

  • We believe that for us to receive, it is taking away from someone else. I could write a whole blog on this concept alone. We are taught to believe that our piece of the pie means someone else does without, but it is not true. There is more than enough for everyone. And when we fill our bucket we are able to help others without exhausting ourselves.
  • We get confused by the concept of self-care and feel it is selfish. See above to help you define the difference.
  • Our success has been defined by our achievements. When we define our success by our achievements we forget about the important things. How do you define success?
  • You feel obligated to say yes (to everyone except yourself). This is especially true if we have a skill that others require. But, you do not have to commit to something just because you can. Learning to set boundaries is especially important here.

Self-care is about self-respect. If you respect yourself then you’ll take care of yourself.  There’s a positive ripple effect from taking good care of yourself.  It builds your self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence levels.

What steps can you take to start your own self care?

  • Assess what you need. You may be so caught up in doing that you have no idea what YOU actually need, start here with what is overwhelming or exhausting you.
  • Figure out what works for you. Maybe you hate massages, so don’t get one. Mayb you love reading in the park, so do that. You need to figure out what you need to look after yourself. Be open to trying new things though, you never know what you will actually love if you haven’t tried it.
  • Create a routine or habit that works for you. Make your new self care habits simple and flexible, if you feel you always have to do this on a Tuesday at 9 and something comes up, you will be thrown for a loop. Be flexible but still make it an important [art of your routine.
  • Support System. This can include people and tools like apps or calendars. Only include supportive people in this network. If you don’t have any at the moment, maybe you could become part of a group. 

Self-care is not selfish and it is vital to our health and well being, what will you add to your self care routine this week?

 

This week’s creative exercise:

Emotion Collage

Supplies: magazines, paper or art journal, glue stick.

Optional Supplies: markers, glitter, stickers

 

Self-care includes acknowledging and allowing our emotions. The more we stifle our emotions, the more they grow, allow yourself to feel your emotions,let them flow through you.

One way you can do that is to create a collage.

  1. Choose an emotion that you are feeling.
  2. Cut out images, colors, and shapes from your magazine that express that emotion.
  3. Collage them on your paper or in your art journal, glueing them down.
  4. If you wish you can decorate the collage with stickers, glitter and/or write words that evoke that emotion for you. Maybe the synonyms of that emotion.

I will be releasing this week's Healing with Creativity Video on YouTube on Thursday, make sure to subscribe on YouTube so you don’t miss any of our great content.

Have an Amazingly Creative Day,

Larissa 

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