One of my favorite things to contemplate these last couple of years is the increasingly popular subject of self-care. My intention is to dive a little deeper than we usually do and to touch upon why self-care is so fundamentally important.
When we usually think about self-care, what comes to mind most readily are activities like massage, meditation, walks in the woods, maybe even resting by the fire with a cup of hot tea. We sometimes think of self-care activities as activities incorporated into our lives with the purpose of counteracting the stressors and negative effects of modern living.
If we dig below the surface a little, we may realize that there is a way to implement self-care at a level which addresses our challenges more effectively at their root. Self-esteem, self-worth, and how we perceive ourselves and our value all contribute to the way in which we perceive the world. Working on our emotional health and healing our wounds allows us to navigate the world without being triggered as frequently, which decreases the amount of stress hormones circulating in our systems. Improving our sense of self-worth helps us to create a life which is more supportive to our emotional and physical health, thereby needing less superficial self-care which can, in certain cases, be acting as a band-aid.
Sometimes people perceive the concept of self-care as being a selfish endeavor, one in which we indulge ourselves and our desires at the expense of others. But, I think it is necessary to look at the bigger picture and broader perspective. If we can more effectively care for ourselves and show up to life as our best possible selves, we have more to give and more to contribute. Our positive energy improves the energy of the whole. At a spiritual level, we are all connected, so as we individually become healthier, we all become healthier. Also, as much as we individually would love to improve the condition of the world, how much can we actually do or change by taking action? I believe action is very important, but if we could individually become healthier and more whole, I believe that the condition of the world would improve exponentially.