Did self-care mean selfish in my mom and grandmother’s time?

Published by Casandra on

Did self-care mean selfish in my mom and grandmother’s time?

Pretty much.  Yes.  Definitely.

It was really just a short time ago – about four years – when my mom said to me, “I never had time to myself when you were young so don’t you think a weekend away with your girlfriends is unreasonable?”  She wasn’t being mean but she was questioning something that didn’t jive with her experience as a mother and later as a working mother.

Self-care is still hard to accept and practice today.  It is seen as indulgent or unattainable.  If self-care equals activities with a hefty price-tag or extreme pampering, it rolls right off into the ‘would be nice but…’ category and never sees the light of day.  What if self-care could be seen as anything and everything that renews, rejuvenates and re-invigorates?  What if it includes something that doesn’t take much time, is easy to do and free?  Self-care can span anywhere from drinking that extra glass of water each day to booking an appointment every three months to challenging yourself to make a dream true.

Unfortunately, a lot of us still think like our mothers and grandmothers – that self-care means being selfish.  Something that can possibly happen once everything else is done. The problem though, is that there is always something to do. Mike Robbins, author of “Nothing Changes Until You Do,” also states that “we can sometimes be motivated to take care of ourselves out of fear or guilt: I should eat better. I should exercise more. I’m not taking good care of myself and if I keep this up I’m going to gain weight, get sick, or something really bad is going to happen to me.”   These are counter-productive to renewal and rejuvenation.  They do not ‘fill you up.’

Authentic self-care is provided for you, by you.  It encompasses anything from the physical, emotional and leisure realms of your life.  It is about nurturing yourself, taking care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you would treat others.  As women, we tend to think that running on empty is just how its supposed to be.  Just as our moms and grandmothers may have felt when they had young families.

A new way to look at self-care.  If you view self-care as a bonus or ‘nice-to-have’, try looking at it in other ways.  It doesn’t mean you hselfcarequoteelanorbrownnave to change your perception or belief about what it means.  It also doesn’t mean that it should become a chore.  It does mean more possibilities about what it could mean for you.  What if self-care meant:

  • A time to breathe, time to relax, time to heal, time to explore and time to renew.
  • A better you because of increased energy, desire and excitement to make a bigger impact with others
  • Allowing something for yourself that you would want for a friend, family member or partner.
  • Being the positive player in your life story.
  • Connecting to, nourishing and expressing your feminine energy.
  • Practicing saying ‘yes’ to yourself and to be unapologetic in your need for it.
  • Feeling good, happy and whole.
  • A time to love yourself.

Choose one thing you would like to do for yourself.  Then ask why you would like to do it.  Why is it important?  What would having it do for you and your loved ones?  How will it benefit your health?  Your emotional well-being?  Your body, mind or spirit?  How will it benefit your work, your friends and community?  Think of how it could change your day-to-day and roll it out to the grand stage of your life.  Something so small can lead to something incredibly important and meaningful.

If you want tools to figure out how to go about creating new self-care habits, and live locally, contact me about hosting my workshop, “Giving Self-Care Justice and Making it Happen”.   The workshop will  discuss how to go about it and what might be getting in the way.  For most people, weekdays are defined by morning routine, work, afternoon/evening routine and weekends are filled with errands, possibly kids’ activities, social gatherings and so forth.  Most of us know what we will be doing within the coming week, month and even year.  What is missing from most schedules is intentional self-care time.  Sure some of us have a massage scheduled somewhere within the coming months, time with friends, a plan to eat healthier, a date to try something new.  But we are not actually scheduling ‘me-time’ and then planning around it.  Take a look too at why it may still be hard to do.  More times than not, it comes from old beliefs, triggers and self-sabotage.  Want to explore more, send me a message.

Let self-care mean something that we tell our children and grandchildren is important, vital and necessary for a happy and healthy life.

Categories: Being a woman