Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.
For example, self-care is:
- Turning off the TV instead of watching another episode of “The Crown” because the alarm is going off at 5 am so you can get to the gym.
- Declining the second drink at the office holiday party. It might even be declining the first drink.
- Choosing organic food and cooking for the health of your body.
- Saying “no” to the thing you don’t want to do even if someone is going to be angry at you.
- Maintaining financial independence.
- Doing work that matters.
- Moving your body and maintaining your physical strength and health.
- Letting other people take care of themselves.
If we are being honest, self-care is actually kind of boring. This is why self-care is a discipline. It takes discipline to do the things that are good for us instead of what feels good in the moment. It takes even more discipline to refuse to take responsibility for other people’s emotional well-being. And it takes discipline to take full and complete responsibility for our own well-being.
Self-care is also a discipline because it’s not something you do once in a while when the world gets crazy. It’s what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It’s taking care of yourself in a way that doesn’t require you to “indulge” in order to restore balance.
It’s making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice.