Self-Care without the Guilt

Self-Care without the Guilt

“Why should you take care of yourself?” I thought I was to prioritize the needs of others. Isn’t self care selfish?

Self-care is often misunderstood. Self-care does not necessarily mean that you should neglect others in your life. BIG NEWS: Self-care does not have to be selfish or negative. Self-care is just as important as breathing.

Before I continue, let me clarify how I define self-care. Self-care is about taking care of your basic needs such as shelter, food, water and money. You also need to address your higher needs, such as your health, love, and sense of belonging. Self-care also includes addressing your passions and wants, such as hobbies and activities that truly bring you joy. Being kind to yourself is a part of self-care. It means treating yourself with respect and love. A loving act of self-care is for some people, especially those who are caregivers or have demanding schedules. Finding 15 minutes each day to be alone with yourself is a great way to show your love and respect.

Self-care is simply what it takes to feel happy, healthy, balanced, and at ease in the world. For me, self-care involves getting a really good night’s rest…Eating nutritious, energizing foods…Getting in some movement, because my body loves to move….Filling my life with positive people….Having time daily for spirituality…Having fun by dancing, listening to great music, hiking in the mountains, being in the beauty of nature…It also means thinking positive thoughts and talking kindly to myself…which also means that when my inner critic shows up, I get to gently tell her she has the rest of the day off…

Self-care is important, no matter what it means to you. It is not only important but vital. Your well-being, enjoyment of life and survival are vital! You will die if you don’t take care of your body. You will die if you don’t take care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A lack of self-care can cause a lot of stress in our bodies, minds, and spirits. Stress is a major factor in many chronic and acute diseases. Neglecting to take care of yourself can lead to your life ending slowly, or even rapidly.

You might be wondering why you would want to take care of yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have if you are caring and responsible for others’ health. How can you expect to take care of someone else’s happiness, health, and energy if you don’t feel energized, balanced, and healthy? You can’t give, give, give, and expect to receive from others. You are completely empty, with nothing left to give. Many of you can identify with that feeling in your body, mind and spirit.

This is my favorite analogy. You have nothing to give if your bucket is empty. Your bucket will be fuller the more you can give. Your life is always a continuous cycle of pouring from your bucket and then refilling it with giving and receiving. How can you fill your bucket? Self-care, self love, self-nurturing, and self-care are all ways to replenish your bucket. Self-care will provide you with the water you need to keep giving and loving.

I’m not saying that you should neglect your fellow humans. This would be a bad idea. I suggest a healthy balance between self-care and caring for others.

One final thought… Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is self-preserving. It will make your life much easier. Your happiness and balance will make others around you happier and more balanced. You can be the most loving person you can be by taking care of yourself.

There you go! You are 100% guaranteed to receive a bona fide, certified PERMISSION to take care of you. If anyone tries to guilt trip you, please read thehackpost this article or send it to me.

Your thoughts are welcome! Leave me a comment or e-mail me at  Courtney Long, MSW LC, CHt, is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Transformational Life Coach. She was trained at the award-winning Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Tempe, AZ. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Although she is based out of Phoenix, Arizona, she serves clients around the world.

Courtney’s company, Caring for Your Spirit LLC, supports and encourages caring adults to love themselves and take care of their spirits. Courtney is compassionate and has a refreshing outlook. She teaches self-care to caring adults and provides valuable self-care tools. Courtney empowers her clients with the knowledge and skills they need to live the life they desire.

Courtney draws from her experiences as both a Wellness Coach for corporations and as an Adult Day Health Center Geriatric Social Worker. Courtney has been a professional caregiver support group facilitator for over 10 years. She has helped seniors, caregivers and other caring adults achieve their wellness goals and make their well-being a priority.

Courtney conducts empowering workshops and teleclasses. She is a powerful speaker and is a member the Alzheimer’s Association Speaker’s Bureau.