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Self-care Isn’t Selfish

What is the definition of self-care? To some it means self-indulgence or selfishness. A new phrase coined to give yourself permission to procrastinate or slack off. To others, especially of my generation, the idea is so foreign they have no idea what it is or how they would go about it. By now, we’ve all heard of it, and maybe you don’t really have a negative or positive reaction to the term. You just accept that some people are learning that its okay to take care of yourself and treat yourself to some self-focused kindness and grace. You may even apply it to yourself occasionally and take an afternoon off or sleep in a bit. You might take a bath instead of a shower or eat a cookie instead of a carrot stick; but not too often, and you won’t necessarily tell anyone.

According to Tami Forman in an article published on “self-care as a concept is almost exclusively aimed at women (generally wealthy white women who can afford the goods and services that get marketed to them as self-care). The not-so-subtle suggestion is that women need to be reminded to care for themselves because, after all, they are so busy taking care of everyone else. And the even less-subtle suggestion is that while we should be taking care of ourselves, that doesn’t absolve us from taking care of everyone else.”

Here’s the thing… whether you agree with Ms. Forman or not, it’s not indulgent, it’s not selfish, nor is it something to consider occasionally because you think you’ve earned it. Indulgence connotes expensive chocolates or an occasional weekend getaway. Self-care is essential. Self-love is essential, and you express that l