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SELF-CARE: Selfish or Selfless?

What is self-care?


Self-care is anything that creates time and space for the individual to take care of their self.


What does that mean?


It could be as simple as brushing your teeth, making your bed, and eating a healthy breakfast every day. It could be the act of meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises each morning. It could be engaging in physical exercise 5-7 days per week. It could also just be taking a personal day from work, going to regular therapy, taking a hot bath on a chaotic night at home, or providing time for yourself to engage in an activity that brings you joy.


Self-care is selfless.


Some people feel like putting their self-first is a selfish act--that if they take a walk instead of completing a chore, they're a bad parent or spouse. Some feel like using 15 minutes of their workday to do a breathing exercise, or mindful meditation, might make them look like a lesser employee than their peers that work 100% of the time.


My message is simple: if you do not take care of yourself, you cannot take full care of another--you cannot be your best version of your work-self--you cannot be the best parent or spouse--you cannot be the best coach or boss or athlete or writer or artist or... you.


You can only be the best version of you when you take care of you first. You can only be the best version of you when you engage in self-care activities and rituals often, and with consistency.


The growth aspect of this is that when you choose to take care of you first, you can then care for others at a much higher level. You can be a more attentive mother or father. You can be a more loving spouse. You can excel in your work endeavors at a higher level, even if you're working a little less than your peers. You can make more of your ever expansive life because you took time to stop and walk with peace for a few minutes every day.


Self-care turns into a selfless act the more you engage in your self-care practices.


Self-care turns into a selfless act the more you engage in your self-care practices.


I meant to repeat those last two lines. Because they're important. If you need to go back to read, and reread it, do it! When you care for yourself, you can care more for others. Self-care IS selfless. Period.


What does my self-care routine look like?


It varies, but the things I do most often are:


Journal

Enjoy morning coffee

Meditate

Breathing exercises

Yoga

Write

Run


Those are the things I do almost every single day.


But I also like to...


Walk

Spend time in Nature

Listen to audio books

Take a hot salt bath

Draw

Roast coffee

Cook

Play my djembe's

Lay on my back, on my rug, in my meditation room


And I do most of the above activities several times a week.


And last, but certainly not least...


THERAPY


Do it. Go to therapy.


Hire someone to listen to you. If, for no other reason, it will be a release for some heavy burdens in your life.


If you really take it seriously and allow the therapist to work with you, and support and guide you, you will experience growth. It is inevitable.


Therapy is a beautiful thing. It should be used widely, by as many people in our world as possible. Therapy doesn't "fix" anyone, but it can help make each one of us more whole. It can help us find peace in our past and realize our fullest potential. If we can all do those things, the world gets a little better, a little brighter, and a lot more peaceful.


What are my personal perks of self-care?


-I am in the most loving, affectionate, connected, sexually charged relationship in which I've ever been.

-I am more creative than I've ever been in my adult life--and I feel really good about the work I'm creating.

-I am focused, driven, and successful in my work--and rarely have an "off" day.

-I am mentally, physically, and emotionally healthier.

-I have more energy--for everything!

-I sleep better!

-I have more time for connection with family and friends--and the time I spend with them is more connected, and often more enjoyable!

-I have more time, and more desire, to help others! Be it raising money for charity, volunteering my time to raise awareness for a cause important to me, or going out of my way to help a homeless person/people--I want to do more. And I want to do it better than I've ever done it before.


Stop beating yourself up for taking time for you.


Self-care turns into a selfless act the more you engage in your self-care practices.


So please...


Take care of YOU.


With Gratitude,

Patrick Messenger

@LouisvilleVeganRunner




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