Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish: Advice for Women(1/4)

By Rumi Samuel Published on August 21, 2022
Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish: Advice for Women(1/4)

What comes to mind when you think of self-care?

Does the term come across as self-indulgent or selfish? Maybe your mind instantly goes to expensive spa treatments or shopping. Or maybe your current belief is that self-care is only reserved for those with time and money to spare.

If that’s the case, it’s time to rebrand what this term really means, especially to women.  

“We often see the message of self-care in advertising directed at women, generally as a sales pitch for something we don’t need,” explains wellness and preventative medicine expert Sandra Darling, DO, MPH. “We’re told, ‘you deserve it,’ so it makes sense that we would associate the practice of self-care with pampering and spending money.”

Dr Darling breaks down what self-care means and why it’s crucial for your physical and mental health.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about self-care

“Self-care is just another name for taking care of yourself, which is vital for your health and well-being,” says Dr Darling. “More specifically, self-care means identifying and meeting your needs, something that most women struggle with.”

In our society, women often feel obligated to be caretakers. They tend to put others first – children, spouses, parents, friends, even pets. So it may feel awkward (and even selfish) for a woman to suddenly shift the balance from everyone-else-care to self-care.

Yet, Dr Darling says it’s time for women to view self-care differently and enter into this uncharted territory, however uncomfortable it might feel at first.

“If you don’t properly care for yourself, your body will let you know in negative ways,” she says. “Self-care simply means you’re taking time to care for yourself.”

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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