I heard it – I heard the groans from the audience. I know that self-care is a buzzword right now, and it conjures up dreamy, pastel colored images of wine, bubble baths, massages…things that a lot of us just don’t have time for!
While all of those things are lovely, and can be a part of self-care, when I talk about self-care I am talking about the things that we do in order to be able to function as human beings in the world.
Here is great article explaining those types of self-care:
Here’s the thing, though – what I really want to talk about in this blog post is the idea of “earning” self-care. You may have said to yourself something like “When I’m not so busy, then I can _____ (insert activity here).” Or even something like, “When I lose ten pounds, THEN I can take a trip to the beach.” Or even something like this – “When I have a day off, THEN I can finally schedule that doctor’s appointment.”
Why do we wait and/or put off those things that are essential to keeping us alive and functioning?
For some of us, we don’t believe we have “earned” the right to utilize self-care tools. We live in a capitalist society, where productivity is valued in terms of hours worked, money made, deals closed, units sold, etc. Even if the job that we have relies on a different type of productivity, it can be easy to feel like we haven’t done “enough” yet. “I haven’t worked for 40 hours this week, so I don’t deserve a night away from my email” – sound familiar?
So I’m suggesting that we dismiss that idea. What is “enough,” anyway? How do we define it? It’s not a number. I’m suggesting that we let go of “enough” and start to focus on what makes us happy, what makes us mindful and focused in our work (and play!) and what makes us feel peace when we fall asleep at night. That doesn’t have to mean a bubble bath or massage, but of course – it can! Those are wonderful activities.
Take care, everyone!