For the past couple of years or so, “self-care” has been popping up everywhere you look, at all times. It's around so much that it's become some sort of trend and we don't even know what it actually means anymore because everyone has different definitions. Since we are big advocates of what we call “true” self-care, this is our contribution.
If we really think about it, we have "care" in "self-care".
Let's have a look at its standard definition:
"The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something."
Meaning that self-care is You providing You the tools you need to function in a healthy, safe and grounded way. Physically, mentally, it pretty much applies to anything you deal with in your life.
Are we all good so far? Good.
Treating yourself is different than caring for yourself
Oh boy is it easy to mix them up. The biggest difference is as follows:
Treating yourself relies on instinct.
It is usually a quick & easy fix to feel good in a very specific moment and it fades fairly fast. Moreover, treating yourself is not always good for you. Like indulging into drinking that whole bottle of wine to yourself or eating that enormous bag of cheetos watching Gilmore Girls. Feels good in the moment, but afterwards, not so much.
Self-care requires more work but comes with long-term effects. You are simply setting yourself up for a better version of You.
And to tell you the truth, self-care doesn't always feel good at first. It's like going to the gym for someone that never worked out before. At first, you hate it. It challenges you, makes you feel sore and out of your comfort zone. But stick to it for a while and only then you will get the benefits that leads to actual self-care.
Self-care takes time because you need a while to build a habit that will result in a positive outcome for You. Again "care" = protected, maintained and healthy. And that doesn't come easy in a world where we are constantly stimulated and influenced in a zillion directions.
So to make it simple: treating yourself is a punctual feel-good relief VS self-care is a long-term process to set yourself up for a better You
The other thing that we have also noticed is that the words "self-care" have been thrown around so much in ads, online & prints, that it has now been used as an excuse. You don't feel like doing something? Slap the "self-care'' label on it and don't do it. We are all guilty of that. If you don't want to stick to your work-out routine, fine, but what about when other people are involved?
inconsideration is not too far from nowadays' "self-care" definition.
Let's say you are planning a party for weeks. You're taking care of everything and invited a bunch of your friends you really want to spend time with, who RSVP-ed. I bet you that at least 2 people will not show up last minute because "they don't feel it anymore" or worse "something else came up" (= something else that it turns out they would rather do, we are obviously not talking about an emergency situation here.). Some may not even tell you and just not show up. Lovely.
Prioritizing yourself in one thing. And we know you need to do it for your own sanity and well-being. But from the moment it removes accountability or reliability, it is not self-care, it's just you being a dick.
And guess what? You do need a good circle of real friends and family to grow, be inspired, to evolve in general.
Nurturing relationships and being respectful to others is part of self-care too. It is another way to set yourself up for a better future because you will be surrounded by love. Wow the virtuous cycle.
Everyone's purpose is to feel in harmony with ourselves and self-care is the ultimate way to make it there. Is it an easy path? Nope. Is it worth it? Undoubtedly yes. For you because you will accomplish your dream goals, but also for others, because once you really get in touch with yourself, you also help your surroundings get there too. And that's how the world changes for the best. Now take care.