Self care doesn’t come naturally to so many of us. In fact, what we spend more time on in today’s world, is ‘the other’. Looking at profiles on social media, taking care of our children or families, meeting other people’s expectations at work and just generally rushing around being ‘busy’. We rarely take time out to get present in our bodies, to process our mental state and find what feels good. A lot of us wouldn’t even know how.
Most of the time, this isn’t a conscious decision. It just happens. We don’t feel like we can take time out of our day because we have more important things to do right?! We get into the grind and ride the waves as they come. Of COURSE we want to spend time with our families and so many of us love our work! The problem is, even if we do think about it, self care has a bad rap. It feels selfish and indulgent. It’s loaded with guilt and that makes it hard to take the first step.
But here’s what I have learned – self care is probably on of the most selfless things you can do and has knock on effects for everyone – for you, your family, your children, your partner, your colleagues and your community. Everyone. Here’s why.
The most important relationship you have is with yourself. Is sets the tone for your relationships with others, it’s what guides your decisions and directly affects your emotional well-being. If you are consistently neglecting yourself, you are setting the precedent that you are not worthy and that’s a tough habit to break. BUT when you start investing in yourself in a conscious way, even just for 15 minutes a day, you are telling yourself that you are worth it. You are telling yourself that you are important. That you matter. With some consistency and finding what feels good, you will hold yourself differently, you will have more confidence and you will start to believe in yourself. This leads to a healthier well-being and will improve your life exponentially.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. It’s an age old saying but it’s truly at the heart of self care. When you’re exhausted, emotionally strained, beating on yourself or feeling unworthy, you are not able to come to your relationships in your life as your best self. That’s not anyone’s fault – it’s SO hard to find the time when you have a family or a full time job. But what you will find when you start practicing self care is that you will show up for your people differently. You’ll be more present and patient. You will likely start practicing gratitude and taking in the moment, and that can only serve to strengthen your relationships and benefit those you are close to.
Today’s world is full of stress. With such polarizing views and technology, there is so much disconnection. This leads to exhaustion, anxiety and stress. The problem with this is that it wreaks havoc with our immune systems and causes so much conflict – at literally every level. When you’re already feeling low and exhausted, watching the news or engaging in a conversation with someone, you’re much less able to communicate in a positive way. My belief is that if enough of us are truly taking care of ourselves, we can come into conversations from a grounded place where we have the capacity to listen and empathize. This has the potential to heal our communities. But this has to come from within first.
So you see, self care isn’t selfish. Self care gives you the foundation from which you can change your life, change the lives of those you love and change your community for the better.
She Be Red is dedicated to this message by encouraging self care practices, raising awareness for mental health and walking readers to worthiness. Join the movement at www.shebered.com
Maddie was born and raised in the UK, and moved to a farm in Madison after meeting her wife, Lyndsey, volunteering in Thailand. Maddie is crazy passionate about changing perceptions of mental health and is the founder of She Be Red (www.shebered.com
), a brand dedicated to telling stories of healing, raising awareness and changing perceptions of mental health in our community. She is also CEO and Chief Content Artist at Nella Marketing, a digital marketing company specializing in bold content artistry for small businesses. In her spare time, Maddie is a Mumma to 2 dogs, 5 cats and dozens of farmyard animals … and she digs anything related to zumba, Beyonce, sci-fi and getting creative!