Is self care selfish?
It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.
We can all justify just about any level of what we’d call self care. We can think about the analogy of needing to put on our own oxygen before helping anyone else with theirs on a plane. After all, if we die, how can we help anyone else?
If we’re not healthy, how can we help others become healthy?
But we can get so focused on ourselves that what we intend as self care becomes counterproductive. We actually become less healthy because we stress about ourselves and our care. Our intentions might be good, but that doesn’t mean the results will be good.
Focusing on ourselves for too long keeps us from living productive everyday lives that help others. Looking in the mirror keeps us from looking around us. Sure, we need to check the mirror. We need to regularly assess where we are and what we need to change, yet we also need to live with others and get reality checks from them. When we become too self-focused, our judgment gets skewed. What we think is best for us (and for others) doesn’t get filtered through enough perspectives and reality. And our goals of getting healthy in order to help others be healthy backfires. We end up hurting others and hurting ourselves.
It’s okay to be good to yourself, but it’s not all about you. Be good to the “we” in your life. When you live with healthy community, because you’re part of that community, you will grow in your own health, too.