Tired? Burned out? Just don’t feel like you have the physical energy to do anything? No matter, we will just have to force our way through the day just because there is no choice. We know deep down why we feel this way. We know why we can’t focus. We know why we are not making the best possible decision. We know it’s because we are just physically tired. We have “abused” our body with lack of rest, bad food choices and lack of exercise. We know that we need rest, good balance diet and some form of exercise. What is stopping us from taking care of ourselves?
I am suggesting that there are 5 key reasons that leads to each of us NOT putting enough effort into looking after ourselves. These reasons are:
- Self-care equals Selfish or Self-centredness. There is a great misconception that self-care is considered as being selfish. Being selfish or self-centred is clearly not a good attribute to have but in this situation, self-care is being kind and caring. If you do not take care of yourself, you are not able to care for others. When you are tired, you are also most probably grumpy and easily angered. I believe that nothing good ever comes out of any situation when you are grumpy. Therefore you are not doing anyone favours when you are tired. Take the time to rest, sleep well and the people around you will thank you for it.
- Self-care is a waste of money. Wasting money is clearly bad. There is a misconception that in order to pursue self-care, it will cost money and time that we do not have. It will cost more money to buy “healthier” food options, to join a gym and to get a massage or facial. That is clearly not true. Eating healthier does not cost anymore as it is just about making the right decisions to swap certain food types. Exercise does not cost any more than having a pair of walking or running shoes and hitting the pavement. At home facials do not cost anymore and can be more relaxing with a hot bath and a cucumber mask.
- Self-care is a waste of time. No one has time to waste. Every minute is too precious. However, the reality is that time is relative and if you are to account for every minute of the day, you will find that you have probably spent more than an hour on playing candy crush. There will be pockets of time that could have been better utilised. Time that we could set aside for some exercise and relaxing activities for the mind and soul.
- Self-care is a sign of weakness. We live in a world where we do not want to appear to be weak. A sign of weakness is when we are not able to do everything that we are expected to do. And what makes it worse is when we compare ourselves with someone else. There is always that annoying “super-miss-can-do-it-all” and “super-mr-have-it-all” just around the corner. Whether that’s true or not, you are living your life and must make your life based on YOU. You need to live out your life based on who you are and what you are called to do. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help and certainly not weak to decide to spend time on yourself. In fact it is a bold decision to do so.
- Self-care is NOT for someone like me. When we look at someone who is “rich”, we see them come out of the hair salon or massage spa, we think that’s an indulgent lifestyle that is not for you. There is perception that only certain kinds of people are entitled to enjoy themselves. Self-care is not for the elite. It is for you just as much as it is for me. We are all entitled to self-care.
We need to have a structure in place for self-care. As human beings, we essentially have 3 aspects, the physical, emotional and mental. Each must be taken care off in order for us to live a balance life. We need to ensure that physically we are in good shape as we are first and foremost physical being. Depending on our physical state whether we are tired or energised, it will drive our emotional and mental state. For our mental health, there are mindfulness exercises as well as meditations that we can practice. As all 3 aspects need to be in balance and looked after, we need to be mindful of what we do. Each aspect needs to be taken into account. Don’t wait for one aspect to break down or burn out for you to start.
Start today by being kind to yourself and take care to self-care.