Self-care. It’s a term we see everywhere nowadays. It’s sprinkled throughout social media posts, magazines, pamphlets at doctor’s offices, fitness facilities, you name it. Self-care isn’t a bad thing at all but today I want to offer perhaps a different perspective on self-care.
Often times when we see and hear self-care being discussed and promoted it is in the vain of doing something alone and specifically for oneself. It can sometimes have an indulgent type connotation- getting a massage, taking a bath, reading a book, etc. Leisure activities that bring you pleasure and joy are definitely important and necessary to help keep a person sane. And exercising and eating well can definitely be positive forms of self-care as well. But what is often not discussed is a SELFLESS approach to self-care. What do I mean by that?! I mean, what if self-care looked like you moving outside of yourself to care for someone else and set aside your own wishes/desires/time and resources? Often times self-care is self-focused. And sometimes it needs to be, but I’d argue it’s just as important for our self-care to be selfless at times and focus less on us and more on others.
There have been so many instances where I’ve found that when I am feeling tired and stressed and just downright depleted, but I do an act of love or service for another person, it brings me great joy and reignites me. It helps me refocus and stop feeling down about my circumstances and stress. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is run an errand for a friend or make a meal for a new mama or visit your elderly grandma BUT when we work up the gumption and just do it, we come away feeling blessed, rejuvenated, and so grateful we did it. Why is this?! I think it’s because we as people are designed to not always be so self-focused. We are designed to give and serve others. When the focus is off of us for even just a few hours, it gives us perspective and helps us re-focus on what truly matters.
Selfless self-care Is SO good for our mental, spiritual, and physical health and well-being. Next time you are feeling totally worn out and stressed out, perhaps find a way to serve someone around you, whether it be at work or in your community. Sometimes the moving outside of ourselves and our own circumstances is exactly what our hearts and souls need to thrive!