What Is Self Care? {And Is It Selfish?}

Friends I’ve been thinking a lot about self care, well not just thinking about it, but really trying to practice it. I used to think self care was selfish. I mean, shouldn’t I think about myself last? Put others first? That what love is, right? I’m learning to think differently and I’m learning what it looks like to love well–not just others but myself as well.

When my boys were little I tried to squeeze in a pedicure once a month. It was an indulgence. Sometimes I even paid for extra massage! I treasured those few extra minutes of relaxation and pampering. Pedicures are great! I love them and they do fall under the category of self care. But pedicures are only one teeny tiny part of self care.

When my boys were little I tried to nap a couple times a week. I felt guilty about it but I was exhausted and sometimes I really needed some extra rest. Aren’t naps the best? Please tell me I’m not the only one who loves to cuddle into bed midday and just sleep! I still love to nap and honestly I’d nap every day if I could–but naps, like pedicures, are only one small part of self care.

But let’s go deeper. What does it look like to REALLY care for yourself? What does it mean to nurture your body and soul? It starts with one very important piece–the belief that you are worthy of love. You matter. What you need and want matters. You were created to be YOU in all your you-ness and to be the most YOU means believing you are worthy of love.

For you to be YOU in all your you-ness means you have to know who you are. it takes space and quiet to listen to your heart and get to know yourself. We spend a lot of time trying to avoid that space and quiet. I find myself running between stores, scrolling social media, listening to music or podcasts–anything to avoid space and quiet. It takes bravery to look at what you really want, what you really need. It scary but necessary to feel your feelings not matter how big or hard. All the parts of you make up who you are. You’re complex and amazing. You’re imperfect and beautiful. You are you, just you, and it takes space and quiet to get to know yourself. A great place to start is taking 10 minutes a day to be alone and just be quiet. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be meditation or prayer. Just take ten minutes where you can sit still, breathe and be your thoughts and feelings.

With some space and quiet every day we’re getting somewhere. We’re laying a foundation. You’re beginning to believe that there is space for you–even if it’s just ten minutes a day. And that space gives your brain some room to think and process and organize.  It’s gives your heart some quiet so it can rest and feel and reenergize. Once I started taking time for 10 minutes a day for space and quiet I found myself craving MORE. I found I could think more clearly. I had more bandwidth and I was more in touch with what I wanted and needed.

Self care is going to look different for each individual–because each of us is unique but here are some of ways I incorporate self care into my daily life.

Carve out alone time. I need alone time every day–even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Speak truth. I say what I really think. I ask for what I want and need. {This one is so hard for me but it’s life-changing!}
Rest. I need naps but also walks, nature, time away, time to read.
Create. I love to create beauty whether it be arranging flowers, cooking a delicious meal or taking photos.
Slow down. Rushing just stresses me out and makes things worse! There is enough time for me to slow down.
Sip hot tea. Little pleasures throughout the day nurture my soul. It’s like giving myself a hug.
Purge/Organize. I need calm space, where everything has a place. I function best in a beautiful, orderly environment.
Journal. I write down my thoughts–nothing fancy. I write what I’m grateful for, what I’m dreaming of, what I’m worried about.
See a doctor. I try to keep my regular dentist visits and annual exams. When something if off, I see a medical professional.
Time with friends. I need my girlfriends–especially the ones who listen without judgement and laugh easily with me.
Soak up beauty. There is beauty all around us–from priceless paintings at a local museum to the sun streaming in the window.


Sometimes self care looks like a drive along the coast, picking up Taco Bell and quietly sitting in my car looking at the ocean. Sometimes self care looks like a tense conversation with my husband because we’re both willing to show up and respectfully say what we think and feel instead of keeping the peace. Sometimes self care looks like clearing my schedule to I can take a long nap with my coziest blanket. Sometimes self care looks like going to therapy and diving into deep, scary emotions so I can heal. Every day I care for myself throughout the day. I am in my body, nurturing myself and listening to my heart. It’s not perfect but I’m learning and growing.

As I’ve made space for self care I have found I have more energy to love my family and friends. I’m able to identify things that drain me and keep me from being my best self–and then move those things out of my life. I’ve learned to really lean into my feelings and feel them {after all they’re just feelings and they don’t define me}. Throughout the day I slow down, check in with myself and ask myself what I need. Yesterday I was fighting a migraine and I canceled coffee plans with a friend so I could care for myself. Self care is brave. When we wade through the mess we find a truer, deeper love. I’m passionate about this–so many of my jewelry designs center around the idea of living honestly, loving deeply and being our messy, amazing selves. 

You are worthy of love. What does self care mean to you? What do you need and want? I’d love to hear how you care for yourself.

 

5 comments

  1. My self care includes keeping my circle of social connections small and letting them know that I am not “always” available .

  2. Hi Lisa❣️

    I’ve been inspired by you for years. What a beautiful life that you’ve created out of trust, joy, faith & love!

    I have a favor to ask. I have a friend whom would REALLY benefit from YOU, your books & maybe a jewelry surprise. Angela Barker is a single mother of 4 all of her amazing kids happen to have add/adhd, one son that is autistic, a daughter that has been traumatized by some time at the fathers home.The father of all the kids has walked out of the marriage & began a new family. Angela suffers from a low immune system, gets sick often, she currently has COVID for the 3rd time. And vaccinated 3 times. Every one of her children is provided, love, respect and an environment that is positive and allows them to each grow always thinking about their needs. Angela teaches me something new about parenting daily

    This woman is a rainbow of a person. I’m disabled, 4th year 2/24/22 is my hearing after for years (I welcome all prayers). If I had the resources-I would have already purchased lots! Enough about me, Angela is the kind of person who truly deserves such a surprise from you. The kind of inspiration & gratitude you provide to the world, is what she gives to her family & mine❣️

    Would you be willing to send her a surprise?

    With love & gratitude,

    Katie Stück

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