Sometimes as therapists when we suggest to clients they need to be just a little bit selfish, it is met with a response as though we have suggested that they become a serial killer. Society has placed a negative slant on the idea of taking care of yourself. Self care means taking care of you so you have the energy to help take care of others. It doesn’t mean being uncaring, thoughtless or just giving up as the word selfish might suggest. Self care is different, it means placing value on you.
In an article by Pick the Brain, the author suggests some positive ways to be selfish. When was the last time you were intentionally lazy? Lazy could mean curling up in a Muskoka chair with a good book or binge watching on Netflix.
One of my favourite reads of the past few years is a book called The Art of Extreme Self Care. In this Cheryl Richardson sets forth to get us to see self care as a necessity.
In a blog article on Healthy Minds Canada, the author simply states that Self Care is Not Selfish. Taking the time to recharge gives a positive message to those around us. It speaks to positive self esteem and the ability to prioritize yourself when it is needed.
I appreciate all the strong, vibrant women friends in my life who are able to say “no” to things that deplete them and “yes” to the things that give them energy. The first step to this journey however is the wisdom to recognize the difference.
If you are having trouble distinguishing between self-care and selfishness then take a look at Friday’s Food for Focus: Ain’t no shame in the self-care game. It is a few questions that you can ask yourself. Remember that self compassion can generate more compassion for others so it really is a win, win!