Self-care is a concept that teaches people how to become more considerate of their own needs. So much pain is experienced when our needs go un-met; and the ability to show up for ourselves and make our wellbeing a priority is essential. Despite there being an over-emphasis on the more physical elements of self-care; there is a growing awareness of the mental, emotional and spiritual elements required for all round health. The importance of a more spiritually led mindset, self-acceptance, ability to create boundaries, connect with others and create a community of like-minded people are becoming mainstream aspirations.
That being said, becoming overly focused on the self and a need to be authentic can easily spill over into self-righteousness and indulgence. When we focus entirely on our own needs, we miss out on an integral element of self-care and wellbeing. A principal ingredient of self-care is the humanitarian idea that by showing up for ourselves, we are consequently able to show up for others. We are designed for altruism and kindness; it’s partly our ability to connect, to serve, to exist communally that makes us human. The analogy of putting on one’s oxygen mask first is often used to describe self-care; yet the idea behind this is that once your mask is on, you can assist others.
When a person has had their needs neglected for most of their lives, it is easy to become fixated on the ideology of putting oneself first. It feels refreshing to break down the simmering resentment that comes with always putting other’s welfare ahead of your own. However; when it comes at a cost to community care, the impact can be just as toxic for our being. We are a pack animal by nature, we thrive as individuals when those around us thrive also. We cannot focus on ourselves in isolation as that’s not how we function. Selfcare without a balance of selflessness can very quickly become selfish. So yes, put yourself first but do so with philanthropic intentions. Show up for yourself so you can in turn show up for others