We hear a lot these days that self care matters and that it’s important. Sometimes it feels like we say it as a throw away line, “Yes, I look after myself, I nurture me, I make time for me.”
But do we really?
And do we really know why it matters?
Here’s 5 reasons why self care matters and you really need to be making it a priority:
1. You matter
Yes, you. You actually do matter. Do you know that? Do you believe that? If for no other reason than self care is important, it’s because you do matter.
Hands up if you’ve heard the saying about treating yourself as you would your best friend? And keep your hand up if you’re also saying, “Yeah, yeah, I know…” but you don’t actually treat yourself with that same love?
A lot of people, particularly women, are fabulous at caring for others, but lousy when it comes to caring for ourselves. Make yourself a priority because you are precious and you matter.
2. You can’t fill anything else from an empty vessel
This another old saying that you’ve no doubt heard. While sometimes old sayings can sound a bit cliche, they generally exist because if you scratch beneath the surface there’s a fair degree of #TruthBomb lurking.
You know what it’s like when you’re exhausted, just doing the bare minimum feels like mission impossible. If you’re running on empty, how can you serve someone else? You can’t. So stop trying. Nurture you, fill your vessel and then you can help others.
3. If you don’t nurture you, who will?
You could also phrase this as “I you don’t look after yourself, why would anyone else?” I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this that you’re a grown up. If so, you are responsible for you. Not other people.
Adulting is not just bills and work and big choices. The cool bit of adulting and being responsible for yourself is that you get to make the choices. So if self care sometimes (not all the time) looks like ice cream or goofing off for a while or chocolate or having a Nanna nap, then do it!!
4. We train others to treat us by how we treat ourselves
This one can be really subtle. Bear with me while I share a story. I used to have some friends who were absolutely NEVER on time for anything and they were generally around 30mins later, no matter what it was. It got to the stage where when organising something I and others would tell them one start time and then another start time for everyone else that was later. We even named the time after these friends calling it “Smithy Time” (*name change). The thing is though, they had essentially trained us. They didn’t change their behaviour to meet the start time that everyone else had, we changed ours.
The same thing happens when we reject people helping us or deflecting compliments or don’t ask for help or saying yes when we really want to say no…people will learn how to treat us.
There is no guilt or shame in making time for you. There is no guilt or shame in having boundaries and enforcing them. There is no guilt or shame in asking for or accepting help.
If you love helping and caring for others, how about you allow others the same enjoyment?
5. We model for others what is ok
This one for me was a HUGE A-Ha when I made the realisation. My Mum was a 50’s bride and if you’ve read any wife and/or mothering manuals/guides from the 50’s, it was ALWAYS about putting other people’s needs (generally hubby’s) first. My Mum lived by this and this was what was modelled for me. The not so subtle message was that Mum’s needs were not important.
This has taken a fair bit of re-programming in my life to release this belief. Yes, sometimes, other people’s needs do need to come first, but not all the time and not always at my expense. Sometimes there can be compromise and other times, mine come first.
Please don’t misunderstand, I love pampering and caring for other people; I receive immense joy and satisfaction from doing so. Now, I just make sure that I care for me too… they don’t need to be mutually exclusive!!
Self care is important. I encourage you to find 3 ways you can make an ongoing commitment to yourself for self care.
Peace & blessings, Sharon