What is self-care?
What does it mean by looking after myself?
Looking after myself was one of those concepts that I learnt later in my life. In some sense, this was provoking, in other, this was contradicting concept.
Provoking because it was a new concept that never occurred to me as an important perspective in life.
Contradicting because I have been told putting others first is virtue. I will explain the complexity of this virtue in another time.
Nevertheless, for years, I thought I should help others especially those under critical circumstances. Modeled by my parents, I have learnt to become useful to others, to earn their like or love. I didn’t know other ways to connect with others.
I believed ‘self-care’ is to sustain good physical health. Recently, I have realised ‘self-care’ goes beyond physical wellbeing. It also concern with psychological wellbeing. Research had suggested that when your psychological wellbeing is at risk, your physical wellbeing is also at risk.
Now, this is where I had to stop and think.
I do self-care well in terms of physical wellbeing. I consult with my doctor regularly or when necessary I will visit a doctor without a delay.
But when self-care is about psychological wellbeing, I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what kind of symptoms that I have to watch for, or how to benchmark my own feelings.
Since young, I have been taught my feelings is one of the last things to consider. It is one of the lowest priority in life.
Recently, I have to re-learn how to express my feelings comfortably, confidently and how to share with those who I want to share.
Even further, I have to re-discover my feelings. To do so, I have to give myself a permission and freedom to feel what I want to feel and express it in the way I want it to be. I needed to learn to that feeling is my choice and expression of my feeling is also my choice.
So, for me now…
‘self-care’ is to allow myself to reach optimal physical and psychological wellbeing. It is to know my strength and weakness. It is to have a courage to feel without judgement. It is to connect with myself.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
– Lalah Delia
How do you self-care?
When was the last time that you treat yourself?
Do you remember last time when you allowed yourself to be?