I want to read and learn all I can, write thoughtfully and truthfully, live according to reason and ever more mature wisdom, and savor every wonderful little gift of life.
Self-care is not selfishness. It’s the opposite. Selfishness is easy and lazy, and it demands care from other people. Self-care is difficult, like most responsibilities of adulthood, and it is kindness itself: when I take care of myself first, I’m then able to take care of others, rather than needing them to take care of me.
Happily, I’ve been doing pretty well with my New Year’s resolution to make taking care of myself my first priority.
It seems like such an obvious thing—but for many of us, it’s not obvious at all. In fact, it’s quite a challenge. When we’ve been trained our whole lives to put others or work or God or anything else in our lives first, it requires some heavy-duty effort to change our habits and reshape our thinking.
For me, it’s been a multi-faceted effort. I’ve been…
Attend first to yourself.
Ask, “What do I need
to feel healthy and strong?”
Then listen and heed
your body’s demands.
And then, only then,
can you serve those you love–
because then, you can.
And that is my strongest motivating reason for putting self-care first: because only then can I healthily and successfully love my loved ones, fulfill my responsibilities, and in general be the kind of person I want to be.
It turns out I’m not the only one thinking about self-care. Last week I discovered this post: “Why self-care matters” by Caitlin Kelly.