When you take a look at your life, what do you see?
Do you see a stunning career in a field that you’ve been working towards for many years? Do you see a happy and content relationship with someone you love? Do you see great friends and social occasions filling up your calendar?
Contentment looks different for different people, and one of the things that most people completely forget about when trying to make themselves feel more content, is self-care.
Self-care is something that puts you first. I know, it’s a difficult concept. In general, humans are designed to be selfish – meaning that we are naturally supposed to think of ourselves before any other creature. And we do. And yet when it comes to other humans, we are all guilty of putting parents, children, friends and lovers’ needs in front of our own. We strive to make others happy, which makes us feel confident and happy within ourselves. The only issue with this is that the more we put other people and their needs first, the harder it gets to take care of ourselves without guilt. The harder it gets to say no when you REALLY need to say no.
It doesn’t matter how you practice self-care, it just matters that you do. There are a variety of ways that you can practice saying yes for you, but you have to learn to be confident when it comes to saying yes. Keep hold of the best pillow at bedtime instead of giving it up for guest use. Choose to make yourself that first cup of coffee for the day instead of presenting it to someone else. You are the person that is in control of your future and if you want to be as content as you’ve always believed yourself to be, then you need to make sure you are taking care of you.
Self-care doesn’t surround things like taking a bubble bath. Whilst I completely agree that a bubble bath can be extremely relaxing and calming, it really is just that.
It shouldn’t really be considered self-care to bathe. Do you see where I’m coming from?
Self-care is getting enough rest doing what you enjoy rather than overexerting yourself trying to do more overtime at the office. Self-care isn’t sitting in front of the television with glazed eyes until an acceptable bedtime. It’s curling up in a nest of duvet and pillows with a movie on Netflix that you know you’re actually going to enjoy. You have to imagine yourself as a flower: flowers need light, water and space to bloom and grow. You are not going to bloom and grow if you cramp yourself into spaces that suit other people.
Unfold those petals and reach for the sun, because taking care of you is just as important as taking care of others. You matter, and the sooner that you see that, the happier and more contented you will be.