As the animal known as “human”, each of us is an intricate web of systems which, like machines, run better when well cared for. Our human “machine” has physical systems which we nourish with food, exercise and sleep, but it is also made up of mental, emotional and spiritual systems. When I ask, “Why Self-Care?”, I am referring to all of these!
Now, I am not going to talk about the “what” of self-care. There are MANY places to learn about how to tend our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings. And, given that each of us is totally unique, any guidance for how to care for ourselves needs to be personalized by us over and over again as we grow and change.
I am, however, going to talk about the WHY of self-care.
Why? Because so many of us don’t believe we have time for it. We let other responsibilities take precedence, believing they are more important. Sometimes they are. Yet, I’m going to give you three reasons why your self-care matters in the hopes that the next time you are willing to put your needs last, one of these reasons will change your mind:
- It feels good to practice great self-care and to feel whole and well.
- When we practice good self-care, especially when it’s hard or feels selfish, we learn what it takes to persevere. In this way, we will have greater compassion and understanding for others the next time they are willing to put their needs last.
- From a “well and whole” place, we are less likely to harm others. Our unmet needs become pain which is often spewed sideways in the form of expectations of others, impatience, intolerance, frustration or anger.
I am writing this at the beginning of the holiday season, a time when many folks abandon self-care practices, “I’ll start again in January.”
What if you started today?
What might the impact be on those around you?
What is it worth to you?