#4 Odd Reasons You Should Bother With Self-Care

So we’ve heard self-care is good for us… We’ll live better, feel better, treat others better- just be better!

But doesn’t it just seem so… Ugh…? Know what I mean?

That looming mountain of “adopting” self-care… All that effort into new ways of thinking, and being, and doing- all the money and time we’d have to spend, even the inconvenience of it clashing with our already jam-packed days…

Ugh… Why bother with it?

True to my unconventional way for doing things- and not wanting to just chuck another regurgitated round of health benefits at you since we’ve probably seen there’s shed-loads out there already-

I’ve put together #4 odd reasons you might not have thought about when considering committing to “self-care”…

Time to spice things up a bit!

#1: It ain’t what it seems…

A lot of us (myself included for a while) have come to see self-care as some kind of drastic measure we need to take toward improving our health-

Like- therapy, retreats, self-help courses, life-coaches, fitness trainers and such; their popularity and dominance of the self-care market has almost defined what self-care means…

So if you’re finding yourself associating your “self-care “with effectively a life-overhaul, that is expensive to do either through time, money, or even energy- then I can understand why bothering with would seem so futile!

Let me be the first to say then, that self-care goes way beyond how much we can devote to it…

In fact, it’s not even something we can just choose to pick up whenever we want, or set aside when we don’t have the time…

Self-care (at least to me), is an action.
An action toward functioning optimally; mentally, physically, and emotionally-

Which, is determined from our current needs, environment, life-experiences, and limitations.

Basically, self-care is eating when you’re hungry. Resting when you’re tired. Walking away from an argument when it starts impacting you negatively, brushing your teeth, making sure your child’s needs are taken care of…

All self-care!

And why I say we don’t really have much of a choice over whether we can pick it up or put it down whenever we feel like it… Which brings me to our #2nd odd reason on why you should bother with your self-care…

#2: You’re already doing it!

When you start seeing self-care in this way- as an action toward a need fulfilment as opposed to a drastic set of life-changes, soon, you’ll notice almost everything you do is an act of self-care!

Now whilst you might not get a say over whether you’re practising it or not- what you do get full reign over, is how you engage with your self-care…

What you do to fulfil those needs that arise-

Or rather, don’t. Oh yeah, plot-twist! There’s such a thing as unhealthy self-care!

You mean to say, not only am I already practising self-care every day, but what I could be doing for it, is actually what’s making me feel like a hot mess most days?

Nailed it!

Like I said, the self-care action we take towards fulfilling those needs is influenced by numerous factors-

If the ways we’ve come to know how to fulfil those needs are band aid on bullet hole approaches; like smoking or drinking to calm down as an obvious example-

Whilst it may help us in the moment and fulfils the need to calm down to let us get on with the rest of our day, in the grand scheme of things; your overall well being is going to run into problems further down the line…

Bothering with self-care then is really just about taking a look at how we’re moving through our days and life, and determining whether what we’re doing is healthy, or un-healthy for us…

Which, yeah, I know– like we’re about to look in reason #3, is a lot tougher than sounds!

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#3: Because you shouldn’t!

If history has taught us anything, it’s- just because it’s what’s done, doesn’t mean it’s right.

And until recent years, self-sacrifice has been all the rage- giving yourself over to suffering for the greater good… So interwoven has it become into our way of life, it’s even become a defining trait of what makes a “good” or “bad” person…

If you turn on the TV, you’ll see what I mean…

Whose the ridiculously good-looking hero?
The people/super-beings who sacrifice their lives (literally and figuratively) to save humanity and fight the forces of evil…

And whose the evil one?
The self-absorbed, less attractive, self-serving people who prioritise their needs before others…

Who marries the prince and has all her dreams come true?
The beautiful, self-sacrificing Cinderella!

And who gets left with the upturned nose and no marriage prospects? The selfish, self-serving step-sisters…

And whose gonna get the big thumbs up Jesus?

“Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. Such is the case of the Son of Man who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give His own life as a ransom for the many” (Matthew 20:26-28).

Turn off the TV and look at education, employment- there too we’re encouraged to sacrifice ourselves to climb the ladder of success… Parenthood, again, self-sacrifice…

It seems like somewhere along the line, some ass-hat decided that in order to “serve the needs of all” it meant rejecting yourself- and it’s been drummed into us ever since that the more we suffer for the greater good, the greater we are as beings, and the higher our rewards will be…

And the more we live to serve our own needs, the more of a heinous villain we’ll become.

Paint me red and call me the Devil then, because self-sacrifice is just as self-centred!

And the ironic thing- making self-sacrifice the way to live has actually robbed us of the very super-power that’d allow us to fruitfully, and consistently take care of “the needs of all”!

Healthy self-care! But doesn’t that make you self-centred too? You bet it does!

But versus the self-centred way that encourages you to live like a martyr- to carry the world’s weight on your shoulders and doesn’t give two hoots about whether you actually can or not-

Healthy self-care teaches you how to carry that weight. Not only to carry, but to then be able to help ease the weight for others too…

Think of it like this-

If all the trees suddenly decided to reject themselves as we have- to self-sacrifice themselves in order to take care of all the other plants and animals around it first- what would happen?

Likely, they’d wither and wilt away no longer getting the proper, and right amount of care they need to grow…

And as it does so, what does it take with it? The food, clean air, shade, homes- their ability to help carry the worlds weight…

It’s through their selfishness, of first tending to making sure they’re functioning optimally that allows them to give back so much more…

You too, are like a tree. The more you neglect how you take care of yourself, the less able you are to share yourself with the world! And brings me to the fourth and final odd reason for bothering with self-care…

#4: Because Nature says so!

Next week, we’re settling down with a story that illustrates these points more fully- and it’s main premise was built off of this idea- that the more people interfere with natures “laws”, that is, its way of doing things, the more we all suffer.

And now, more than ever, we’re starting to see in the world that our way of doing things has been to stick two fingers up at where we came from, and forged our own path- and what’s happened?

Climate change, mass extinctions, poverty, famine, abuse of resources, animals, and other people- to name but a handful…

But what’s self-care gotta do with this?

Well, unlike every other living thing that lives by nature’s way of “healthy self-care” that is, effectively taking care of your own needs first to then be able to provide optimally for your eco-system-

We don’t. Like we looked at in #3, we branched off into self-sacrifice and have built entire eco-systems of our own devoted to this way of being-

But we aren’t different from nature. Whether we care about it or not, love it, or don’t want anything to do with it- we are a part of it. And when you start living like nature intended- ensuring that you’re functionally optimally first to thrive in a way that allows you to “effortlessly” share what you have to offer the world-

Why you should bother with self-care, makes much more sense.

Because whether you’re flourishing and thriving, or wilting and withering away, you’re still affecting the eco-system (everything around you)- so why not make sure you’re functioning optimally first?

Prioritising your needs and ensuring that how you’re fulfilling them supports you as you move through your day, letting you take care of all the other demands without f*****g yourself up in the process?

Well… I think I’ve given you enough to chew on…

Hope I haven’t totally mind-screwed you with these outlandish ideas! it’d be awesome to hear what you thought about them too! Drop me a comment, otherwise I’ll see you for next week’s self-care story-time!


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POSTED BY: Q

I’m Q. My mission is to figure out how to live a healthy, happy, and conscious life, on this unstable floating rock in space- through the pages of journals and the nurturing of nature. Read more of my story here…

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