What selfcare really is and why it’s so important
This post originally appeared on www.escapeforreason.com, Atara Founder, Kory’s original blog because Selfcare is a subject so close to her heart and is thus such a core value for Atara becaue haircare is selfcare too. Hope you enjoy it! Feel free to pin these items to your board to save and revisit later.
Selfcare seems to have become a bit of a buzzword and ‘trend’ lately. For many of us, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear selfcare is a
bubble bath, getting a massage or a manicure and pedicure or lighting a scented candle. Many of us even mistake selfcare for self-indulgence or selfishness. But when we realise that it’s about tending to the relationship with yourself so that you can fill your cup and show up in the world as the best version of yourself, you realise selfcare isn’t selfish, it’s actually considerate; it isn’t a luxury, but a necessity.
The truth of the matter is, self-care encompasses an uncomplicated yet multi-faceted meaning. In the simplest of terms, it is care provided by you, for you. It’s about giving yourself the TLC you are constantly giving to others. Selfcare is about filling your cup and giving from the overflow because you can’t pour or give from an empty or half-full cup. I truly wish this is something we were taught early on, at home and at school- then we would not be the chronically stressed out, burnt out and even depressed adults too many of us are.
The secret is in being self-aware enough to hear and know what your body, mind and soul need at a given time so you can feed them with what they need! It’s about giving yourself the BEST thing you need at the the time. However, that may not equate to the most pleasurable at the time…
Real Self Care can be a Little Painful!
There’s no denying that it’s nice to do nice things for yourself, but the truth is that real self care is probably a little bit more emotionally painful than what you would have hoped. Yes, sometimes what we most need is gentle, soothing and mood-boosting forms of selfcare like lighting a scented candle, putting on uplifting music or having a relaxing bubble bath. But the real definition of self care is about being honest with yourself in doing what’s best for yourself which may also include doing the things we may not feel like doing, but that we know are good and balancing for us in the long run. These include things like, getting up at the time we committed to ourselves we would get up and exercising; or reaching for the fruit instead of the chocolate when we committed to make healthier eating choices. Basically, selfcare is about making and then keeping important promises to ourselves that help us lead better and healthier lives. Many of these choices, we will have to re-commit to and retrain our brains for because they are much harder to execute than the ‘feel-good’ selfcare practices, but they are just as important. See our free ebook on building healthier habits or request it from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selfcare is about giving ourselves both the pleasure and discipline we need to function optimally in order to offer the world our full magic! Self-awareness lets us know which one we need at what time. It’s important to check in with ourselves regularly.
In the messy and uncertain times of COVID-19, it is so normal for our anxiety levels to higher and for things be a little off-balance. It’s times like these that we can give ourselves more grace and self-compassion but still gently bringing ourselves back to where we would like to be and exercise our self-resiliency muscle. Selfcare can in fact be used to our advantage as tool to cope with stress and anxiety, but it is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to just ‘let go’ and eat junk, binge watch series and scroll social media for hours, not bath and stay in your PJs for days until it’s time to roll out of lockdown. No.
The truth is, we will always be faced with adversity and challenges. But we can still control how we handle the things thrown at us. And, with the right strategies in place, we can come out thriving and flourishing. Your best may look different on different days, but the trick is to keep going and keep trying.
Once you have developed strategies to help you deal with things that are out of your control, and the consequent emotions that come up, you can also change your response. Having strategies in place allows you to be less reactive and more proactive to all the bad things that happen throughout your day/week/month and of course, life.
Want to know more or get more selfcare inspo?
If you enjoyed this post and are interested in getting to know more about selfcare, visit the Atara (selfcare company) website to download a FREE ebook I made for the Atara community. It contains plenty of relevant and valuable info and inspo across 6 different types of selfcare to help you lead a better life and take back your power.