Self-care, it turns out, takes a lot more effort and energy than just getting a mani/pedi, going to a new restaurant or getting a massage. It means truly accepting accountability for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and making decisions that support it. Self-care asks us to establish boundaries and practice (at least some) discipline so that we give ourselves the best chance at happiness. It requires us to tune in and get to know our thought patterns, desires, triggers, and fundamental needs so that we can properly anticipate and manage them. Self-care is the very definition of adulting. It puts the ball in our court and empowers us to go get what we need to feel whole instead of expecting anyone else to guess what it is and magically deliver it on a silver platter.
This certainly does not mean we can’t ask for help or that we shouldn’t look for support from people in our lives. It’s only a problem if/when we start believing our own sense of worth, fulfillment, and happiness rests solely on their shoulders. When we expect others to take care of our core needs, we become the victims who need to be rescued and set our relationships up for failure. Solid, healthy, mutually beneficial friendships and marriages are formed when two whole people choose to be together to support and elevate one another… not fix or “complete” each other.
Will Smith does a great job talking about this in this brief Facebook video – check it out!
What can you do today to take action and find solutions to your problems and feel like you are creating a life you love? What can you do today to connect you to your true passions and get more of a sense of who you are?
How many times have you justified spending money on a new phone or outfit or fun activity but decided that it didn’t make you happy? Are you putting off talking to a therapist or seeing an acupuncturist to help with more substantial problems because was just too expensive? How many times have you prioritized work over rest or decided against getting help because you’ve felt you should be able to do it all yourself? And how many times have you experienced a pang of resentment towards someone who’s not “doing their job” taking care of your needs?
” Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
I invite you to re-visit the concept of self-care and consider it as an act of boldness and power. When we take accountability for our own health and happiness, we take control of our lives AND give the people around us the freedom they need to be themselves and love us how they know best. When you stop expecting someone to fix your problems, you get a deeper sense of being able to ENJOY each other.
The better you are, the less you demand, and the more you receive. Taking care of yourself can improve your life as well as your relationships. Do it today!