What is self-care?

I have seen a lot of videos on how self-care is toxic, or creates narcissism. I truly believe the self-care they are discussing isn’t self-care in the truest sense. The self-care they are discussing is searching for happiness, and trying to be as successful as one can be, and striving to reach goals no matter what. Putting value in yourself, not others. I wouldn’t call that self care. It is more self-indulgence. I can see why that behavior can be toxic, and create narcissism. I think it is important for people to know what self-care is, so they don’t confuse it with toxic behaviors that create more misery.

“Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. Its benefits are better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.”(everydaymentalhralth.com).

Self-care is about making yourself a priority. It is about validation your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Although, you are a priority. It does not mean hurting others to benefit oneself, or putting others down to pull yourself up. You still make sacrifices and compromises, but you shouldn’t put others needs before oneself at all times. Your mental and physical health comes first. You can’t have that when you continuously sacrifice yourself for others.

Connections are important. Self-care isn’t about pushing others away, and just focusing on you. Solitude is important to center yourself to who you are, and to give you space to enjoy one’s company. We are social creatures that feed on connections from others. Connecting with others is a part of self-care, along with solitude. Treat yourself right, and you can treat others just as well.

Self-care isn’t about buying the most expensive thing to treat yourself. If it adds value, and brings joy that sure, do it, but it isn’t essential. It isn’t about reaching your goals, and striving for success. Yes, you can do these things, but it isn’t the only thing to focus on. It is about appreciating what you have, and enjoying the journey to get to where you want.

Self-care is about creating hobbies that spark joy and peace in your life. It is about cultivating habits that promote a healthier individual physically, emotionally and mentally. Self-care is about accepting who you are, your strengths and flaws. It isn’t about searching for perfection, but learning to appreciate your strengths, and to work on improving your weaknesses. Accepting comes into play when flaws can’t easily be improved.

People sometimes lose the meaning of self-care for their own self indulgence. Self-care is about finding ways to bring peace into your life. It is about working on yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. A holistic approach to become a better individual, and to live life as fully as one can. Learning to connect with yourself and others is the true nature of self-care.