Why Self-Care is not Selfish

Day after day we’re being pursued with demands and requests from people – be it from work, from our loved ones or just from our personal checklists asking for our attention. Society lures us to hustle. Our bills has a unique way of keeping us awake. We are bombarded with the desire to accomplish, and slowing down feels like a luxury we can’t afford.

Not slowing down for too long and soon you will find yourself unproductive, irritable and exhausted.

When stress overwhelms you to the point of exhaustion, remind yourself to pause for a while, take a rest and recharge. It is not selfishness. It is taking care of yourself.

It can be as simple as spending a few minutes doing nothing – no work related thoughts, staying away from social media, lying in bed snuggling with your favorite pillow. It has to start somewhere.

Why is self-care important? Here are some reasons:

It recharges you physically

Our mobile phones has a limited battery capacity. Once it is drained, it can no longer function. It needs to be recharged from time to time. Likewise, we too get drained when we function for a long period of time without resting. We need to recharge so we can be productive. Our bodies were not designed for non-stop work. It is not a sin to pause and take a day off. It is actually both biblical and practical.

It redirects you to yourself

More often than not, our exhaustion comes from people whom we want to please or convince of something. Think of your social media feed for example. If not envy, it triggers self-pity, or anger or a mixture of it all. When we turn off notifications and stay away from these triggers, we’ll realize that we have been neglecting the most important person you need to take care of – yourself. Give your mind some peace. Treat yourself with some rest. You don’t have to prove to people anything.

It prepares you for greater service

I understand that most of us refuse to stop because they want to give more to people, myself included. We want to give our best service as an expression of love. But inasmuch as we want to give our all, we can only do so much. We have to realize that we cannot give from an empty vessel. We too must be filled so we can fill others up. Machines need some rest. Even the best people need to rest. Even Jesus need some rest! We don’t have any excuse not to rest.

It is being true to yourself

Admit it – you are no superhero. Sometimes you get tired of working non-stop to provide for your bills or just to prove something. But there is more to life than just exhausting yourself from endless pursuits. We need to pause we need it like everyone else! Our responsibilities will always be around, teasing us. If you really want to face it squarely, face it prepared – recharged and ready.

It gives you a clear vision

Our vision get blurred when our emotions and bodies are exhausted. We say things we don’t want to say, and we do things out of impulse and unclear mind. When we take a rest, we see things differently. We are not irritable and we do things better.

I believe in the principle of working hard, but it doesn’t mean we need to work non-stop. Heavy machines get tired and depreciated from continued use. Use it to exhaustion it will wear down and cease to function. Same is true with humans. If you want to give more to others, keep yourself – your health, sanity and your vision intact. We do ourselves a favor when we rest. We do others greater favor when we take care of ourselves because we offer the best version of ourselves to them.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash