Women often struggle with the concept of self-care. Self-care is often equated, in our minds, with self-indulgence and selfishness. The idea of caring for own needs and being compassionate to ourselves seems to conjure up images of getting facials or massages or being at the gym for hours and spending a lot of money. These may be part of the self-care we may need. However, the kind of self-care that is essential to us being in good relationships and being effective as parents.
Self-care begins with self-knowledge. Knowledge and understanding of what makes us feel good about ourselves and what hurts our sense of self or sense of well-being. This understanding helps us define our values and needs to our selves and to people with whom we are in relationships. The clarity helps us communicate in ways that is more easily understood by others around us.
Spending some part of each day getting to know our own needs is sometimes more restful than a body massage. Spending time with a supportive friend can be more relaxing than a facial. Surrounding yourself with the beauty of nature and listening to the sounds of birds can be a self-indulgent and a nurturing respite from the many responsibilities of our daily lives.