“DO WE HAVE TO ADULT TODAY?” This inquisitive phrase gets jokingly tossed around my office every now and again. As much as I would like to respond with, “No, let’s leave and go get pizza!”, the answer to that question is always, “Yes, (sigh) because we are adults”.
Don’t get me wrong, there are perks to being an adult. In adulthood, you are granted the power to be the master of your own destiny and to paint your own picture on life’s blank canvas. In the greatness of this independence, overwhelming responsibilities between work and home life just seems to come with the territory. When it seems like the world weighs on our shoulders, all we can do is focus on one task at a time, making essential tasks a priority.
Perhaps the most important and yet least prioritized task among all others, is self-care. Self-care is a general term that describes everything we do deliberately for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. When we have many things to do, we often put our personal needs on the back burner to get our other goals accomplished.
I used to feel that taking time for myself over the other tasks I had to do was selfish. It’s hard not to feel that way in a world where staying busy seems to award an unofficial “badge of honor”. It seems as though if you aren’t busy, then you aren’t hard working, and that kind of pressure is hard to live up to. I’ve noticed on days where I abandon self-care, I sometimes become resentful and that takes effect on my relationship with others.
Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, so that you can pass on those good feelings to others. You can’t be good to others if you aren’t good to yourself. In this way, you’re not considering your needs alone. Taking time for yourself can rejuvenate your emotional/physical well-being which allows you to be the best version of yourself towards others.
There aren’t any specific guidelines to self-care, as it is different for everyone. For some people, it might be taking time to go for a jog with the dog, running around the backyard with your kids, playing a video game, or having a nice meal with the family. Whatever your self-care activities you prefer, the important thing is that you make time for it during your day.
Self-care starts with giving yourself permission. When we understand that we are worth it, because we are important, we are more likely to make time for it as well as benefitting from it. After all, there is nothing selfish about taking care of your wellbeing, especially if it benefits those around you.