Is Self-Care the New Way to be Selfish?

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

I've been seeing, hearing and reading a lot about self-care. Self-care is the concept of doing something that makes you happy, content or mindful about you or your surroundings. It may be an activity you treat yourself to such as a massage or facial. Maybe it is taking a yoga class or a hike in the woods. Whatever the act of self-care means to you, do you think it is simply a way to be selfish?

yoga pose

As I pondered this thought, I decided to do a quick Google search on self-care to see what the experts think. Of course there are a gazillion results because what topic on Google doesn't have a gazillion results? There were many articles about how to practice self-care and the importance of self-care. I became intrigued with an article in The New Yorker.

The New Yorker magazine

This article stated that self-care really gained traction in 2016. It is a social movement that requires people to value themselves first before they can truly take care of others. (Source: The New Yorker). Ok - so I can buy into that. I recall as my Mom was passing 9 years ago, I was working full-time (per her request) and spending as much time as I could with her.

But I was told by my peers to take care of myself or else I wouldn't be able to be there for her when she needed me. So was I being selfish? Or was this simply wise advice that has been passed down from generation to generation and is now "re-branded" as self-care?

I started thinking to myself, what does self-care mean to me? My fitness routine is of up-most importance to me; is that self-care? I think so. Cooking and eating healthy food for myself and my significant other is important to me; is that self-care? I think it is. Facials are regularly part of my routine and my skin looks awesome as a result (at least I think so); is that self-care? It may be.

trees park

But now I start doubting myself so I figured I better see how others define self-care. Forbes Magazine had an article about 10 easy habits to get you started with Self-Care. So I read it. Turns out some of what I consider self-care is self-care. The article states eating green daily, going for a light jog or run (exercise) and to laugh heartily once a day are all part of the self-care habits. If you haven't met me, I am always laughing! In fact, I am often told the best thing about me is my laugh. But I digress.

Ok - I am almost to the point where I am thinking self-care is not selfish. I looked up the definition of selfish in the dictionary. Selfish is defined as lacking consideration for others and chiefly concerned with one's own profit or pleasure (Source: Google Dictionary)

So if I am focused on working out & being healthy, that is not selfish as I do it to remain around for my loved ones as long as I can. Cooking and eating healthy helps me and my significant other stay healthy. In fact, my significant other often says "why are you trying to keep me alive for so long?". He is just joking - he is a wise-guy like that.

Now, how can I rationalize facials into self-care? I would say having a facial shows that I am important to myself since the whole process helps me relax and unwind. That reduces stress which is an important aspect of health. But now I am wondering, should I be doing more self-care activities?

It is overwhelming to me to try to fit in more self-care activities in my day. I have a long commute to the office, I need to meal-prep over the weekends in order to eat healthy during the week, plus I want to spend time with my significant other! So I think I will stick to my current routine of self-care and look for occasions where I can add more to my routine. Such as when my significant other has a dinner engagement or if he goes to the gym on the weekend while I am home.

I am pleased I took the time to think about self-care and what it truly means. I hope you learned a little more about self-care and start thinking about how to incorporate more self-care into your routine. If you enjoyed this post, follow my blog on Bloglovin to learn more healthy tips and get great recipes.

#selfcare #healthyliving #healthymind #fitness #meditation #yoga #balance