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selfish or self care
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We live now in an as-its-happening world. Because of the internet, we have 24/7 access to information of all kinds. 

From environmental disasters to bridges tumbling down to wars around the world to incidents much closer to home, this kind of information access feels full of uncertainty. Its constant nature can give us a sense of urgency about everything. It can be so very hard to know what’s an emergency, what’s urgent and what’s important. And, even when we may not be aware or thinking about it, it is affecting our bodies too. 

I’ve read that our bodies can’t tell the difference between what’s urgent, past or present in terms of concern. If we think on things of the past that were traumatizing, we are bringing our body that previously experienced energy – and our body’s response is to take us right to fight, flight, flee or freeze. Our bodies cannot discern for us what is real and what is something from the past. 

All this to say that taking care of us in these stressful times is paramount. 

We must do the radical self-care necessary to protect ourselves. Especially to protect ourselves from the daily onslaught of news and information. 

Is it selfish? 

Clients often struggle with the difference between selfishness and self-care. So, I find it helpful to see the definitions of words as I consider their meaning in my lived experience.  

The Oxford Dictionary defines selfish as “a person, action or motive, lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.” 

Dr. Brené Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection writes: Self-care is not a disregard for others’ needs. It is extending the same concern and empathy for your needs that you offer others. Practicing self-care by enforcing healthy boundaries and communicating your needs is not only essential for yourself, but also makes you more available for those around you.” 

It is not selfish to take care of yourself! 

It is a radical act in these difficult times in which we live. It is a necessity. Practicing good self-care is what fuels our everyday living enabling us to accomplish our goals, support our family members and live deeply in the beauty of the world around us. Self-care may be the most counterintuitive thing we can do for ourselves on a daily basis. 

Self-care is an invitation to look within. 

What are the most important things you would like to be doing? What are the things you are doing that may not be self-caring? Here’s something I’ve noticed about myself – maybe it will resonate with you. 

When I’m tired, overwhelmed, discouraged, or flooded by the news cycle, I find myself doomscrolling through social media. Social media is the exact place where I can further over-expose my messy mind. Why would I spend time there? While it may be self-soothing, it certainly isn’t self-care serving. This is a place where I can become more aware and take corrective action. 

I can choose from things I know to be fueling and restoring for my soul.  

I can do a check-in with myself. I can turn off access to social media. I can step outside for a walk, sit in the garden, read a book for pleasure, listen to music, stretch, practice yoga, light a candle, bake, write a letter or postcard to a friend. I can gently take my own hand and lead myself away from these soul-sucking activities in favor of something more life giving. It may be hard at times, and it feels essential. 

Once, I made myself a list of things to do when I didn’t know what to do. I hung it inside a cabinet (it was private after all). It was just what I needed to remember that caring for myself is a relevant and intentional practice that benefits me and those around me. 

When I feel stuck, when I’m so overwhelmed that scrolling social media seems like a good idea, when I’m numb, I go back to that list. Or I make a new one. I make myself a new one because I am learning and changing, I make myself a new one because I want to dig deeper in support of myself in these despairing times. I want to find new ways to take care of myself as a sacred practice. After all, how many lives do I think I have? 

What are some of your best self-care strategies? How do you support yourself and your own needs in seasons of overwhelm, loss or change? 

If this resonates with you, let’s chat!​

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