Why Self Care Is Essential (NOT Selfish)
For years, we’ve all been told it is better to give than to receive. Much ado has been made about emptying ourselves in favor of filling up those around us and we have fallen on the sword of selflessness to the point of no return. So it is no surprise that as the self-care revolution reaches its peak, many are still apprehensive about putting themselves first. We think it’s time to unpack what’s brought us to a place of seeing self-love as simply self-indulgence, and take a look at why it is not just a trend—-it’s a necessity.
First things first…
We have the wrong idea about what success should feel like. The average American between the ages of 25-54 works 50.3 hours per week. This doesn’t factor in overtime, preparation for work like going to bed early, commuting or having one less Pinot Noir at dinner to be functional on Monday morning. So much of our everyday lives revolve around what we do to make ends meet that even our personal relationships take a backseat to our professional obligations. We are hesitant to use our vacation hours for fear of not being seen as “serious” about our jobs. And those of us who are in positions of leadership clock more than 60 hours per week and take little to no vacations during peak business time.
Let’s get real…
All work and no play makes a very angry person who snaps at their local Starbucks worker for putting too much milk in their mocha latte. Yikes. We are an overworked people. This attitude of “grind now, sleep when you’re dead” is woven into the fabric of every success story and yet the truth is, we’re at our most productive when we take care of ourselves. We need vacations. And midday breaks. And extended weekends. Not just for the sake of procrastination on deadlines but for our well-being. Success does not equal burnout. Taking time to breathe during your workday or close your office door to do a few yoga poses is a great way to practice self-care in your workweek. Don’t leave your vacation days on the table either—you can’t take them with you when it’s all over. So make time for yourself unapologetically, no matter what the company memo has in store for you.
Me time, REdefined…
And it’s not just work where we need to own our need for “me time”… When it comes to our personal lives we have been conditioned to never say “no” in favor of ourselves. We all have that family member or friend who lives her life fearlessly. Unafraid to miss family outings for her spa day or ditch a playdate with the kids for a last minute solo roadtrip—she is the girl you all gossip about at dinner but secretly envy on the drive home. Why? Why does her ownership of her time, her energy and her life make you so conflicted? Because it’s not often that someone truly understands that their life is their own. And that everything we choose to do or not do adds to our happiness or unhappiness equally. Self-care is about far more than yoga retreats and facials—it’s about being in tune with the most important person in your life. It’s about listening to your body, trusting your mind and following your heart. It’s about thanking yourself for all of the “holding it together” you do on a daily basis. It’s about living. LIVING. Not just existing from one penciled in event to the next. It’s about actually experiencing the miracle of being present.
Taking time to indulge in self-care is the answer to the fastpaced life we’ve been forced into living. It’s the only way you’ll meet any of the goals you have for yourself—and be able to truly enjoy them. So, the next time you can choose between spending a quiet day at home eating your favorite foods, getting an in-home massage and deep conditioning your hair or showing up to the 3rd day of your friend’s “birthday month” celebration…you know what to do.
– The REME Team