5 Reasons Self Care Isn’t Selfish

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Last Updated on December 7, 2020

Self care isn’t selfish. 

When self-care is underestimated, how do we expect to take care of others?

Proper self-care involves taking care of your own physical and mental health. If you want to be happy, healthy and operating at full capacity then taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of those around you.

sign that reads love yourself with roses in the background - self care isn't selfish

A lot of them have mentioned self-care as a possible talking point. I’ve tried to respond to all of them individually, but I’ve also decided to put together a post on the topic due to the sheer volume of responses in my inbox!

I’ve been going through e-mails received from website visitors over the past few weeks.

Some of the messages talked about self-care as something they don’t have the time to focus on. Some other messages called self-care a selfish thing to do – and while I understand where they’re coming from I also felt the need to write this.

Self care isn’t selfish. 

When self-care is underestimated, how do we expect to take care of others?

Proper self-care involves taking care of your own physical and mental health. If you want to be happy, healthy and operating at full capacity then taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of those around you.

Nobody would trust doctors, surgeons, firemen or other emergency staff if they didn’t have the sense to take a bath within a two week period. What if they didn’t bother to tie their shoes before going into the job? All of that; that’s self-care. 

If you have enough time, I want you to read the entire post.

Here’s why self-care really matters for your health – and reasons why self care isn’t a selfish thing to think about.

Understanding Self-Care

Self-care means having routine. It means having meaning to your day, instead of just getting up and trying to cope your way through to the end. I’ve gone through periods in my life where I neglected self-care – and no, it didn’t work out well for me. 

A lot of people don’t understand what self-care is or means. A lot of other people are just so busy concentrating on everyone else around them.

First, I’d like readers to understand self-care. 

Do you?

Keep reading.

Why Do We Forget About Self-Care?

Life can be chaos by nature. It’s what life is about. It’s also easy to forget about stopping to take care of yourself when life is flowing by. 

Conditions like depression or anxiety can make forgetting about basic-self care even more possible.

Have you forgotten to eat breakfast? Has it slipped your mind to wash your hair? Have you taken out the trash at home this week? All of these things can describe basic care elements that many people accidentally let slip.

Why Do People Say Self-Care Is Selfish?

I’ve noticed that it’s a common myth for people to say that self-care is a selfish thing.


For many people it seems bizarre to stop and think about themselves. What they don’t realize is how important it is for others that they themselves stay healthy.

Where Can I Start?

Self-care starts with admitting that it’s necessary.

That’s the first step, and that’s what I recommend to people first.

A self-care checklist is something else that I tell people about. When the items that make up your Self-Care Day are written down and visible, isn’t that a little easier?

Can Psychiatry Help?

Psychiatry describes a specific branch of medicine that deals with mental health – and how the physical health can impact it. When mental health conditions need to be managed, a psychiatrist is the right professional to consult.

Why see a psychiatrist rather than a therapist, psychologist or counselor? 

A psychiatrist seeks and treats the cause of conditions, where a psychologist or therapist provides short-term help or verbal consultations. Often, a psychologist or therapist might refer patients to a psychiatrist as a next step.

Are you struggling – or do you know someone who might be having trouble coping? A psychiatrist can help you.

Click here to read more about the definition of psychiatry and why it can help to manage conditions like depression or anxiety.

woman in a tub looking through a window at landscaping - self care isn't selfish

5 Reasons Self Care Isn’t Selfish

I’ve thought a lot about self-care lately, especially now that the world is going through quarantine. Depression and anxiety have become more difficult conditions to deal with for many people – and an increasing amount of stress has only added to current pressure.

Is self care selfish?

I say no.

Here’s why.

1. Carers Need Their Health

If you take care of anyone else, taking care of yourself first is the most responsible thing to do. It’s true for any professional – and if you’re reading this, it’s true for you. Carers need their health (and for this to happen, they should always put self-care first).

2. Burnout Is Real

Burnout exists, and the symptoms of it can include insomnia, depression and a general feeling of anxiety. When professionals reach it, their work is of a lesser-quality – and it might even be dangerous. Could you experience burnout? Yes. Self-care can stop it from happening.

3. Physical & Mental Health Are Related

Physical and mental health are linked. When you aren’t healthy, your mental well being is immediately affected as a result. Psychiatry deals with the physical aspects of mental health for this reason. Self-care is important to make sure both vital parts of your health are being managed as well as they should.

4. Self-Care & Coping Mechanisms

Self-care is about more than just moving through your average, chaos-filled day. It can teach coping mechanisms that are practical – and that you can use anywhere when you feel the symptoms of depression or anxiety.

5. Self-Care Doesn’t Have To Take Time

Many messages said that they don’t have the time for self-care in their day. Here’s a secret I’ve learned to use: self-care doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time out of your day. Instead, use whatever bit of time you have in the day to make your Self-Care Time. I’ve found this useful during days when I might only have five minutes.
The important part is whether I’ve taken any time for self-care at all.

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