By Kaitlyn Hardy
There is nothing more important than knowing yourself, and your limits. Knowing those things, means you know how to take care of yourself. In health, in sickness, mentally, emotionally, or physically. The definition of self-care is care for oneself provided by oneself often without the consultation of a medical professional. It’s self-treatment. Taking time for yourself means caring for your body, mind, and spirit. It is your greatest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then honoring them.
“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
Self-care is not a luxury, it is priority and necessary. And it will not always be a luxury. It will not always be pretty. It’s not always candies and a bathtub full of roses. Sometimes it’s forcing yourself out of bed and dragging yourself all day. Sometimes it’s that peptalk you give yourself, or that quick cry in the corner. Sometimes it’s convincing yourself to do all of these day-to-day things that you should be doing, but you have no will whatsoever. Sometimes it’s a relapse of a hurt past and telling yourself you can’t go back to square one. Sometimes it’s cutting ties no matter how precious they were. And sometimes it’s the bitter medicine you need to give yourself. Self-care is not always pretty, but it is worth it. To become the best version of yourself, and to live up to the potential you have, it is a necessity.
Self-care is not just caring for yourself, it is self-acceptance, self-love, and self-compassion. It is your inner strength. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first. Stefan Deutsch, NYS certified Psychotherapist says: “I pondered the questions and shared with the insight I believed to be foundational. The SELF-LOVE needed for self-care was missing. Academicians use terms like self-esteem, self-worth, self-support, self-care but rarely self-love. That is left to the spiritual community. People don’t realize that taking care of their own needs; eating, drinking, brushing their teeth, showering, wearing clean clothes, going to work are all acts of self-love. My own clients conceded that they were on the bottom of their Totem Pole of priorities. Everything in their life came before their own health and wellbeing; the job, the house, the kids, the family, the car, finances, and so forth. People who prioritize taking care of themselves are often thought of as selfish and self-centered — two of the worst characteristics people can be called. The problem is that people have a hard time reaching for balance in their lives — it seems to be anathema for too many.”
She goes on to say “How can we teach people to take better care of themselves without first teaching them that it is OK to take care of themselves? Just saying they should has never worked. Excuses people have are a lack of time or skepticism that something can help. Translate both? Everything I am willing to commit to is more important than taking care of myself.”
There is a theory to love, and it is that: Love is literally nourishment like air, food, and water — which is why we feel so deprived when we don’t get it. It follows then that people need to be taught ; 1. That it is as OK to love self as it is to eat and drink, 2. How to do it effectively, and finally 3. that we all need to become self-sufficient feeding ourself love, as we are feeding ourself food.
Self-care is not selfish. Harry Emerson Fosdick says that “no one can have inner peace by pouncing on it.” Taking care of yourself is being aware of yourself. When you take care of yourself, and move you further along personally, you feel less worried about when the next wave of things comes and knocks you off your feet. Never forget how far you’ve come. Everything you have gotten through. All the times you have pushed on even when you felt you couldn’t. All the mornings you got out of bed no matter how hard it was. All the times you wanted to give up but you got through another day. Never forget how much strength you have learned and developed.
You are worth it, you are important, and you are beautiful. So take it easy, and learn to love yourself, be patient with yourself, and take care of yourself.
Revolutionary Approach To Overcoming Inner Resistance To Caring For Oneself
By Stefan Deutsch, NYS certified Psychotherapist