The idea behind self-care is that if you take the time do something for yourself that you’ll feel better.
On the surface it’s a great idea. Adopting some self-care might allow you to stop working for an hour and go for a walk outside helping you to feel refreshed and reinvigorated and giving your subsconcious some space to work on problems in the background.
But the problem with always seeing self-care as taking time for a bath or to treat-yo-self or learning to meditate is that taking time for yourself isn’t always what you actually need.
For example: Perhaps you’re feeling depressed, so you cancel everything social to spend more time by yourself.
But what if spending time with some of your friends is the thing that would help normalise what you’re feeling and help you feel better?
Or another example: A project you’re working on starts getting really hard. It’s stressing you out and impacting other areas of your life, so in the interest of self-care, you drop it.
But perhaps what that project really needed at that time is for you to continue to show up, even in a small way, every day and that the satisfaction of seeing that project through would have been a boost to your confidence and self-esteem.
That’s why self-awareness is so important.
Self-awareness allows us to correctly identify what we’re feeling in the moment. The we can pick the ‘self-care’ activity that will truly help us.
Taking time out to re-energize is a good place to start, but sometimes self-care involves leaning in, reaching out to or helping others and seeing things through.