Sometimes we can confuse self care with selfishness. In the world's view, it is not always seen as a positive thing to focus on one's self. "It is better to give than to receive" seems to be so ingrained in our thought pattern, that if we do allow ourselves to receive, we can often feel guilty for doing so. In the least, we usually put a cap on our receiving and self care allowance.
When times are tough, one of the first things to get wiped off our budget and to-do list is self care."I don't have time for that right now!" or "I don't have any extra money to do things for myself," are common reactions when facing life's challenges.
Yet, taking time and care for ourselves during such challenges can not only make them seem less challenging, it can also help preserve our bodies, minds and spirits for a full and healthy life. And, if we choose, self care doesn't have to cost much time or money at all; it can simply become a way of life.
Unfortunately, many people are so disconnected from themselves that they have no idea of what they may want or need. Others seem to be hard-wired to only giving that receiving (even from themselves) is a foreign concept altogether. So how can one begin focusing on self care?
One of the most valuable concepts around basic self care has been offered through various 12 step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which encourages us to "H.A.L.T." We often resort to self defeating behaviors (addictions, negative thinking, lethargy, and depression to name a few) when we either get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Thus, paying attention to these fundamental vulnerabilities is a great place to begin a journey into self care.
Try not to get too:
Basic self care can start with simply tuning into your body and emotions then finding ways to meet your own basic needs. This is far from selfish; self care refreshes and revitalizes you and allows you to be in a better space to interact with the world.