For many, self-care is sanity. It’s a way to neutralize the self after being probed by life’s various stimulants. In one single day, we experience a new set of emotions, triggers, and life happenings. For others, it’s something that happens when there is time to spare. Depending on our relationship with self-care, life can have us reaching desperately for it, or have us neglect it to make it through.
Even the most self-care conscious individuals deal with this toggle. It’s a balance we’re all trying to master. Despite so many people struggling with the same thing, we’re left asking if we need to choose between caring for ourselves or letting ourselves fall wherever the current decides to take us.
At first logical draw, the answer seems unanimous. Why wouldn’t you choose to care for yourself? If only it were that simple. One of the challenges with self-care is finding the time, resources, and drive to make it happen.
Why Self-Care Can Be Challenging
Self-care is complicated for many reasons. Like the fact that people define self-care in their way and therefore dedicate varying levels of effort and attention toward it, or that some confuse it with behaving selfishly. Another challenge is the discipline that is often required to make it a priority. Self-care isn’t always something that feels good or rewarding immediately.
Self-care can be indulging in that wine you’ve been craving since 1 pm, sure, but it can also be spiritual, financial, or physical fitness. These aspects of self-care, like many, are work. Working toward anything is hard enough, but it gets even harder when it’s between pleasing those around us and doing what we or others think we should be doing and putting ourselves first.
Then there is the opposing side to this. Who’s to say that doing things to stabilize our outside environments is not self-care? The lines get blurred and making a choice is not always informed.
Choose to Find Balance
So, in choosing which side of the trail to walk along, the choice is all yours for a reason. Only you know how to define self-care and how that definition might evolve for you over time. Only you know when saying yes or no to something doesn’t feel right.
Caring for yourself does not need to come at the expense of betraying others, and caring for others doesn’t have to come at the expense of betraying yourself. If this sounds vague, consider this:
You will know you have found balance when you can decide what path to walk and execute without feeling guilty. Your mind is susceptible to confusion, as well as your emotions; but what isn’t is your inner voice.
If the question is what to choose, always choose what feels right, because that’s self-care you can’t apologize for.