What is The Difference Between Selfish and Self-Care?
If I had a nickel…for every time I heard someone equate selfishness with self-care.
Suppose your doctor writes a prescription for you. It might be medicine you really need. Would it be selfish to go fulfill that prescription, and pick it up? Why of so many people think that taking care of themselves is both negotiable and selfish?
On the one hand, there is a sort of twisted martyr’s syndrome when a person believes their family, and for that matter, the whole world must be taken care of before they can tend to themselves.
And then on the other hand, others believe that spoiling themselves with material wants and pampering themselves is the same thing as self-care.
Both of these notions are mistaken.
What self-care is:
It’s personal. Only you know how to personally care for yourself and it begins with identifying your specific needs. You cannot expect others to know what you need.
It is a holistic practice. You must take into account all the parts of you that require care as a whole person; this could be as obvious as physical and psychological as well as less obvious, such as emotional and spiritual.
It can be both healing and preventative. Self-care can prevent many psychical and mental illnesses from occurring. It can also be healing if you have already experienced trauma or illness.
Self-care is ideally established and experienced as a ritual, routine, and as good habits. The person that practices good hygiene, participates in a beloved hobby, and takes regular walks is fulfilling a self-care practice. Making it a habit also eliminates feelings of guilt associated with self-care.
Self-care benefits you by managing your stress levels, maintaining a healthy personal and professional life, and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
You can only care for others as well as you are caring for yourself. When you reverse your current mentality of caring for others while not caring for yourself, you will see how there is more reward when you are caring for others. You won’t kick yourself at the end of the day for helping everyone else, but you!
Many of those who neglect self-care had a selfish or narcissistic parent. In this case you should be caring for yourself as a parent would have.
If we don’t take care of ourselves, it can show up badly in our relationships and as persistent negative thoughts.
“Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.”
Who is selfish?
Selfish people do not mind compromising another person to meet their wants, consistently exploiting those around them.
Selfish people make others feel worse about themselves.
They rarely consider others wants and needs. They can seem inconsiderate and thoughtless. People who neglect self-care often relentlessly think of what others need.
Selfishness is marked by indulgence and special treatment.
If you need more self-care:
Ask yourself what you need every day! Keep communicating with yourself.
Listen to yourself in meditation. You can become quite intuitive about yourself through meditation.
Change your self-depreciating habits and behavior with guided meditations.