What is authentic self-care?
Self-care is a commonly used phrase that validates us in doing whatever we want to achieve instant gratification, even if it isn’t serving us long term. We often confuse material or external substance as self-care. Self-care is not a hedonistic blowing off of steam, but a commitment you make to yourself to nurture your body, mind, and spirit. It is not indulgence, but reflection, awareness, and commitment. I could eat chocolate cake every day and call it self-care – but would that be serving my body long term? I could buy all my favorite clothes, and call it self-care, but will this lead to my financial well-being? I could numb all of my stressful thoughts or unpleasant emotions with substance, but would that be an experience of my wholeness?
I have learned that authentic self-care requires that I dig a little deeper. Genuine self-care requires that we stay aware and be honest with ourselves about what is really nurturing. Honest reflection is essential. Sometimes this honesty in self-reflection can be difficult, even painful as we toss off old perceptions or patterns that are not supporting our wholeness. We can’t stop at bubble baths, wine, and chocolate. Authentic self-care requires that we stay true to finding what serves our completeness.
Think of how you would treat a small child, or a dear friend that you cherish. Self-care is showing up to yourself in the same way that you show up for someone that you love.