Self-Care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health, well-being and happiness. While Selfishness is defined as lacking consideration for others; being concerned with one's own personal pleasure. These terms are polar opposite yet as women we somehow see them as one in the same.
From the moment we can sit up and hold our heads high, as little girls, we are subliminally taught to care for others. It starts with a teddy bear or a doll baby, and gradually turns into a housekeeping playset which ultimately prepares us for the potential of having to take care for a younger sibling or becoming a homemaker.
When we become teenage girls, we attempt to navigate adolescence armed with the blurry knowledge of “birds and the bees” and what to do when mother nature arrives. Starting in high school and throughout college, there are talks about our appearance, grades and social activities. As adult women, we are told to cross our legs at church; that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and that we should sleep when our babies sleep. Rarely are there conversations about how we should take of ourselves.
The term Self-Care became popular in 2018 and somewhere between now and then, Self-Care Sunday became a “Thing”. Women from all walks of life were declaring Sunday was their day “To Do Me” as we women like to say.
Many women began taking group fitness classes, scheduling spa treatments, getting regular mani/pedis and brunching with their good-good girlfriends. Yet there were other women who took no pleasure in having fun outside of their homes; after all, their families needed them and it would be selfish of them not to be there. And for the women who remained single, they too were selfish because they declined the role of caring for someone else.
I don’t know how Self-Care became Selfish-Care, and it doesn’t necessarily mean being everywhere and doing everything. Self-Care means doing a little bit more for YOU. We should wear our pretty pearls and our favorite perfume just because it’s Monday. We should treat ourselves to a new lipstick when we pick up the milk on Tuesday. Wednesday’s are for wellness, so when you make a medical appointment for a parent, partner or child, make one for yourself too. On occasion leave work three hours early on a Thursday and treat yourself to happy hour; sit at the bar and people will wonder why you’re alone, and when they ask tell them you are a phenomenal woman; brag about yourself and let them know how you run your world.
I see nothing wrong with reading your devotionals by day and a naughty novel on a Friday night.
A hot bath with candles and soft music on a Saturday night is good for the soul.
These subtle suggestions may seem simple or cliché, but they all create ripples into the necessary journey of practicing Self-Care beyond Sundays.
By Shanna Herrion