Self Care – Behind the Buzzword

in Apr 16, 2024

 Self Care – It’s a soundbite we’ve all heard around the health and wellbeing community. But what does it mean in practice, on a personal level? To ‘the self’? Self Care goes deeper than an addendum on a tagline, or mention in a meditation method. We see the phrase a lot but with no clear description of how to implement it into our lives. It stays an idea, not a practice. These are a few musings on the core of the subject from a chronic (recovering) self-neglecter.

The phrase ‘be your own best friend’ is more associated with a businessman in a suit ‘protecting his assets’ and stepping on the little people – but an alternative interpretation of it is something we could all use.

So here’s a basic self care rule for you: Don’t say anything to yourself that you would not say to a friend.

Deceptively simple, this self care rule really can change your life. Think of it this way: Would you tell your friend ‘don’t bother trying, it’ll probably go wrong’? That it isn’t the right time to follow their ambitions? That their children, spouse, career… is always more important than their own welfare? Would you convince them someone they just met probably didn’t like them? Or that their accomplishments weren’t a big deal, anyway, because someone else achieved more? That it wasn’t worth striving for more, asking for more, because what’s the point of that? It’s too late to try.

Of course you wouldn’t tell them that! Because you know all of these are impossibly cruel things to say to somebody. They are untrue, misleading, defeatist. So why would you say them to yourself? And most of all, why would you say them and believe them?

It takes time to practice this thinking. Try stepping back and noticing what you say to yourself, and when. Imagine saying the same thing to your best friend. Would you say it? No? Then practice self care and remind yourself to be your own best friend. Because every human being on the planet deserves that chance, and so do you.