Selfishness vs. Self-care

Selfishness is defined as caring for oneself without regard for others. When you think of selfishness there is a negative stigma to it. Almost as if putting yourself before others is a bad thing (anything in excess is a bad thing). In American culture, we are taught to be individualistic and that it is everyone for themselves. However, there are people who have really big hearts and believe that there purpose on earth is to care, love and be there for others. This could come in many forms, for example, mothers and fathers whose lives revolve around caring for their children or sick parents, there are students who get lost in learning to be become what they will be in the future or what they are expected to be and forget about the here and now,  there are people in relationships who believe that making someone else happy makes them happy as if they are no longer an individual. However, when asked the questions "what do you do for yourself?" or  "when was the last time you did something that brought only you joy/peace of mind or relaxation?" they are frozen and at a loss for words. They haven't taken the time to think about themselves and whether or not they are getting their needs met. They are fearful that if they were to care about themselves for a change, that would make them selfish; which, could not be any further from the truth. 

Self-care is defined as taking care of yourself so that you can continue to help others and thrive in whatever work you choose to do. In the helping profession, the idea of self care is well known and discussed; but not practiced as much as it should. This line of work has one of the highest burn out rates; which is mainly due to lack of self-care. We tend to place our physical health over our emotional and mental health. We go to the doctor if we are experiencing aches, pains or brokenness/discomfort in the body; however, we don't go to a helping professional when we feel that same pain mentally and emotionally. As if mental health is all in your head and you can just "shake it off" or "think more positive" in order to fix psychological wounds. Taking care of yourself includes much more than just physical health. Psychological wounds such as loneliness, depression, and failure can be very debilitating and negatively effect your physical health. Getting  the help that you need and taking the time to make sure that you are caring for yourself is a major part of your life, it is continuous and very important. 

I encourage everyone ready this post to do more for yourself, if you are not taking care of yourself then you can't take care of anyone else. Here are some examples of Self-Care !

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Tierra Youngblood-Field