Everyone knows what it means to be selfish, right? Technically the definition is lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Some synonyms are egotistical, self-indulgent, and even narcissistic. And everyone knows what it means to be selfless, right? It’s defined as being concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own. Some synonyms for selfless are self-denying, self-forgetting, and self-sacrificing. I don’t know about you, but neither sound too appealing to me. So, then why is it our actions are usually categorized by either of the two, and how do we focus on ourselves in a positive way that there is some type of balance?
That’s why I like to imagine that it’s truly more of a spectrum instead of an absolute in either direction. At the center there is a balance in the form of self-care. There are many ways to define self-care, but the most simply put one is that it is care for oneself. What that means is that it is care provided for you and by you. It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self care is about properly treating yourself as kindly as you treat others, not kinder, and not less kind. It means recognizing yourself as a worthwhile person and showing that you are valuable, competent and deserving.
Sounds like this should be simple, right? But we all know it’s not. With the millions of things that are thrown at us daily it becomes much easier to start to shift on the spectrum in either direction. And the details of what self-care actually looks like are extremely customized to each individual, which makes it that much harder to know that you’re always doing it. If you are either searching for what your own self-care should look like, or are struggling with maintaining it, please call STA at (201) 488-6678, so that we can help balance your own self spectrum.