Self-care has been a popular trend for a few years now. You’ve probably read countless articles about how doing mud masks and taking bubble baths can improve your mental health. However, many of us may still struggle with putting ourselves first.
Your number one duty is to take care of yourself. No one will do it for you if you don’t and you owe it to those you love and work for to bring your best self to the table daily. Here’s why you shouldn’t feel guilty about self-care.
1. Anyone Can Have Sensory Overload
When you hear “sensory overload,” you probably think about the neurodivergent crowd. However, you don’t need a sensory processing disorder to suffer from this condition. Today’s connected society has folks receiving news alerts at all hours through various devices. Studies show this constant “on” feeling can take a devastating toll on your mental health.
Hey, it’s okay to power down when you take a mental health day. The office won’t fall apart without your presence — and they should probably be paying you more if so. Better yet, try spending the day without electronics. Turn off the television and computer, read a book or watch the clouds as you lie in a hammock.
2. It Isn’t All About Self-Indulgence
Self-care isn’t about lazing around the pool with a cocktail in hand — although such activities can refresh you occasionally. It also entails exercising, preparing healthy meals and taking the time to nurture your spirit.
You might think self-care means having an extra scoop of ice cream – which is totally fine – but that can sometimes cause people to feel more shame than pleasure. If that sounds like you, instead treat yourself to a special meal that is full of vitamins and nutrients that will leave you feeling good on the inside and out.
You’re not a robot. Like any living creature, you need downtime to function at your best. That doesn’t necessarily mean lazing on the couch but rather tending to your physical and mental health.
3. You Can’t Pour From an Empty Pitcher
Ultimately, you want to be the best you can be for your spouse, kids and career. That means prioritizing yourself, dealing with the issues preventing you from forming healthy relationship attachments and achieving to the best of your ability. Part of self-care entails spending time in mindful self-analysis and seeking the help and tools you need to thrive.
However, therapy and self-care take time. You deserve to prioritize at least 30 minutes for yourself each day to tend to your emotional struggles. Don’t think of it as taking time away from your loved ones or job — instead, it’s an investment in yourself that helps you continue to be your best.
4. Life Is Meant to Be Lived
If you’re familiar with the song “Seasons of Love” from the hit Broadway musical “Rent,” you know there are only 525,600 minutes each year. You spend at least a third of them working and a considerable portion of the remaining waking percentage tending to those you love. Where do your needs and wants fit into the equation?
Life is short — you should mindfully enjoy it, not rush through everything you do simply to get to something else. Self-care reminds you that you might only get one spin in this rodeo. Make it one worth celebrating.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Despite their hard work, many Americans avoid necessary self-care out of fear it will make them appear lazy or self-indulgent. Nothing is further from the truth. You have to nurture yourself if you want to give your best to others.
Consider the reasons above why you shouldn’t feel guilty about self-care. Then, take that sick day and treat yourself to healthy TLC.
Photo by Taryn Elliott.