Taking proper care of ourselves isn’t always about herb-baths and scented candles – sometimes, it’s about taking a real, unadulterated look at what needs healing and being courageous enough to do what we need to do to overcome our personal challenges. Sometimes, self-care requires bold, hard, radically-honest moves, and while that’s not always easy, it’s worth it. Here are 5 reasons why making a self-care commitment requires our boldest, most badass attitude, and why it will lead to a life of even more badassery.
It takes a lot of self-actualization to know what we need
The cure for repeatedly taking on too much, for constant worrying, or chronic self-dismissal is not one-size fits all. It can’t be bought and sold, and it varies from person to person. Understanding what we need to do to support ourselves in the areas we’re most vulnerable takes a great deal of self-awareness. We can certainly get help to figure out what our most effective personal support systems are, but no one can pave our unique path or do the work for us. Making a commitment to self-care requires that we examine our thought patterns and habits and see what needs changing – and sometimes it requires that we boldly go where we haven’t gone before.
… and it takes a lot of resisting the status quo to do it
Self-care is a radical act because it’s about saying “my body and my intuition is telling me to do something and I’m going to do it.” Self-care is important to me because I know that if I want to be part of a social structure that treats all women like what they do, need, and want matters, I have to recognize what I do, need and want, matters, in my own life. It’s up to me to take action on my own commitment.
It means choosing love over fear
Self-care is about pushing yourself to hang out with your friends after you’ve been panicking all day. It’s about asking your mom for financial advice. It’s about freewriting in your journal and re-reading what you’ve written with a truly objective lense. It’s about not going to the party because you’d rather read / meditate / blog. It’s about resisting your ego enough to do what you need to do to act in alignment with self-love.
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It challenges us to have a DGAF attitude
Worrying about things over which we have no control – what other people think of us, what might happen if…benefits no one. This kind of thinking only eats away at our confidence, stresses us out, and distracts us from what’s actually happening. Self-care is about supporting ourselves to focus on what we can control, and let go of the rest. It’s about “forgiving” that which we can’t control like the past and the thoughts and actions of other people. If we cling to anything, we won’t be able to move forward. We have to be detached in order to move through life with ease, and grow.
It requires us to be honest with ourselves about our excuses
The commitment to take care of ourselves is a commitment to also look at our excuses – all the reasons we believe we kind of suck – and push ourselves to act with self-love anyway. Believing we’re not good enough, that we “don’t deserve it,” or that we “just can’t” is easier because it lets us off the hook. Mustering the courage to think, “no, actually, I can” is more difficult. It requires us to choose to accept ourselves, over and over again, no matter what.
Rocking on with your commitment to self-care will yield drastic improvements in your life – badassery begets more badassery. Saying no, standing up for ourselves, and choosing love over fear is challenging, but it’s the necessary work of staying supported in a good life.
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Kait Fowlie is a Toronto-based freelance writer, digital marketer and collector of wellness wisdom for creative types. She blogs at kaitfowlie.com and tweets @KaitFowlie