Make the Connection: Selfish and Self-Care

A few months ago, my husband received an advanced cancer diagnosis; just one call turned our lives upside down.  The next morning, we awoke to a gray sky and rain.  Usually, when I go for my daily walk or run, I take our dog (Mabel) along with me.  However, that day, I knew I needed to exercise, but also, to process everything I was thinking and feeling.  I also didn’t want to have to give her a bath – after getting muddy on a rainy-day-run.  Therefore, I decided to leave her at home.

As I began my run, I saw her sitting at the window, looking sad about having been left behind.  In that moment, denying her needs so that I could take care of my own felt selfish.

And there’s the connection…self-care can feel selfish.  However, before abandoning my own needs, I took this one simple step: I considered my feelings, but also, the facts.

The fact was Mabel would be fine not to run that morning, as she would have other chances for exercise throughout the day.  The fact was that I didn’t have time to give her a bath before my first appointment of the day, and I desperately needed some time in which to think, and pray – without interruptions.

When contemplating acts of self-care, think about treating yourself like a good friend.  To do so can mean saying no – to someone or something else (even your pets) so you can say  yes to taking care of yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is the foundation for all your other relationships.  A great way to nurture that relationship is to make self-care part of your everyday routine.

Ultimately, the only person who needs to approve of your self-care is YOU.  Now go take care of yourself. J


Founder and Director of “Wholehearted Living,” Author, Speaker and Certified Heart Coach