Quite often, we tend to place the needs of others before our own. It has been part of our human nature to run around taking care of everyone else – our children, the elderly, the sick, and all other people we care about. Although it is fundamentally a good thing to do, it can be a problem when we give too much to others that we leave nothing for ourselves.
To drive home my point, self-care is not selfishness. It does not mean focusing only on our best interest or putting ourselves first in everything. Neither does it make us self-centered when we put ourselves ahead of others.
Taking care of ourselves is necessary for our survival. We need some time and space to breathe, to treat ourselves, and do the things that are essential for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. This quote by Katie Reed pretty sums up what self-care is all about:
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”
In today’s crises, we need to take good care of ourselves more than ever. The world is in dire need of compassion, love, and support, but we can only do so much and can only give the best of us after nurturing ourselves. Below are some of the reasons why making ourselves a priority is important.
- Our relationships become stronger
The oft-used analogy of “putting an oxygen mask on ourselves before assisting others” best explains why we need to take care of ourselves first. We cannot give our best selves to the people we love and care about if we are physically and mentally exhausted, emotionally drained, or afflicted by a serious illness. We need the time to rejuvenate ourselves because we become more pleasant and giving towards others if we are relaxed and centered. Similarly, our family, friends, and other people will feel happier around us if they see how vibrant and enthusiastic we are.
- Our health depends on it
Self-care is crucial for our well-being. If we strain ourselves too much by putting long hours at work or saying yes all the time when our help is needed just to please others, we are putting our health at risk. Inadequate sleep weakens our immunity, leading to a chain of illnesses that can affect our productivity at work. Worse, we become susceptible to panic or anxiety attacks, depression, and other chronic diseases.
That’s why it’s necessary to give ourselves the much-needed time to reset our minds, body, and soul. Our health is non-negotiable so we must take good care of it.
- Our happiness is the ultimate goal
The more we build self-love by making ourselves a priority, the happier we become. So let’s keep doing what makes us feel good about ourselves. It could be through traveling, going to a spa for a relaxing massage, working out, starting a new hobby, or anything that makes us happy. There’s no limit to what we want to do as long as it is for our self-improvement. After fulfilling our heart’s desires, we’ll feel better and happier from within and finally, we can bring out the best version of ourselves for all the world to see.