Self-Care = Selfishness?

I’ve long known the importance of having good self-care. Granted, it’s not always something that I’m the best at, like many people. It seems like there is this little voice in the back of my brain that keeps trying to convince me that good self-care is “selfish”.

When I think about it, it’s not just my own inner voice that tells me this. It seems to be a widely-held belief in our society that self-care is just plain selfish. Or only for those people with “too much time on their hands”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the receiving end of passive-aggressive comments from people about my running, for example. So many people seem to have the attitude that giving and giving and giving to the point of mental, emotional, and spiritual depletion is an admirable quality.

Well, I’m calling bullshit on that. Big time.

This is life. There’s no award for “Most Burnt Out”. When I’m a little old lady I’m pretty sure I’m not going to wish that I’d pushed myself harder, that I’d stressed myself out more, that I took less time to enjoy life. It’s ridiculous.

As I’ve mentioned recently, I have a few things going on right now. Firstly, I have anemia. I battle with low iron from time to time and I know that this is something I need to take better care of, but don’t. Also, I have been dealing with what can only be described as a crushing amount of stress right now. I know, I know…that sounds a little dramatic, doesn’t it? But honestly, with everything that’s happening, ‘crushing’ is really the only way to describe it. But as I wrote about yesterday, I am doing my best to remain tough and battle through it.

Last night I paid a visit to my naturopath. I haven’t seen her in a while, but she has been extremely helpful to me in dealing with health issues in the past. In fact, she has been able to help me when my regular medical doctor couldn’t. I respect how naturopaths look at the entire picture and take all factors into consideration when determining how best to treat someone. We talked about my symptoms. We chatted about my diet, sleeping patterns and lifestyle habits. We talked for a long time about the amount of stress I’m currently dealing with. We looked at my blood work results together. She was very thorough.

The verdict? Basically, I’m a mess. lol Her primary concerns at the moment are dealing with my low iron, and managing the effects of all the stress I’m under. I have supplements to take, dietary recommendations to follow, and even some suggestions for a certain tea to start drinking. Basically, what it all boils down to is that I need to do a better job at this whole self-care thing. Sure, those daily runs are great for me mentally and physically, but they’re only one piece of the puzzle. A puzzle that actually has many, many pieces.

So for the next while, this will be my focus. For the time being there are a lot of things out of my control — like the sources of stress in my life. As I work to improve the causes, the next best thing I can do is manage the effects of this stress. Those things are in my control.

And you know what else? I’m going to have zero guilt for taking good care of myself. Because it’s not selfish, no matter what that stupid inner martyr or people around me have to say about it.

self care

2 Responses

  1. GET OUT OF MY HEAD WOMAN, I just wrote a post about the same thing.

  2. I’m with you. SOOOO with you. I’m bad about not putting myself first and that doesn’t do anyone any good. Prayers that the new supplements and other things are helpful.

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