Thursday, March 4, 2021

Self-Care Isn't Selfish

By Maureen Bonatch 

We all have a lot on our plate, and if you’re anything like me, you’re continuously wanting to do all the things! Unfortunately, I’ve yet to discover a way to add more time in the day, or days in the week, to do all the things. Instead I shave a little time off my sleep, work through lunch, say no to that fun outing, or trade relaxation time for crossing more things off my list. 

This method may result in taking care of some of that To-Do list, but may mean taking less care of myself. Ignoring self-care can result in fatigue, burnout, reduced productivity and a plethora of other things that sabotage all my efforts at increasing productivity. 

How do we stop this vicious cycle? 

We must find a balance. Self-care sounds like it would be easy to incorporate, because who doesn’t like to do enjoyable things? Often it’s because we’re conditioned to feel guilty for doing something that’s just for us. It feels selfish. 

 If there’s one takeaway from this, it’s that—self-care is not selfish. 

One of my favorite self-care activities is reading. For a handful of years when my twins were young, I used to be one of those people that felt that I didn’t have time to read. That it was a sacrifice I needed to make because there was no time for self-indulgence. 

I really missed reading. 

Reading was good for my mental health—toddler twins, remember? So I made reading, and myself, a priority. Even if I was exhausted and could only read a small bit before falling asleep I started to make time for reading then because I enjoyed it. 

Despite learning this lesson, the same thing happened with my writing for a few years. There was no time—until I made the time. 

 What Can You Do For Yourself Today? 

Self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day. The important thing is being consistent in making time for things that are important for you and your health, even if it’s only for short intervals throughout the day. 

  •  Read a book 
  • Write that chapter 
  • Watch a movie 
  • Stretch 
  • Make a healthier food choice 

 Like the old sayings about putting your oxygen on first so that you can help those you love, or how your body only runs well on premium fuel, it’s the same for the time you spend on self-care. You should get a return on the investment of this time by feeling better about yourself and/or improving your health.

 Looking to make yourself, and your self-care, a priority? 

Join me April 5th to May 2nd for my online course Self-Care for Authors through Future, Fantasy & Paranormal Authors (FF&P). You don’t have to be an author to take the course—self-care is important for everyone. Find all the details by clicking right here 

What Do You Do For Your Self-Care?

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her website, Facebook & Twitter 

 Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBub, Amazon and/or signing up for her newsletter


Nancy Gideon said...

How right you are, Maureen! We're so frequently the last thing on our list of important things to do. My ME time is also reading. I carve out that last half hour before going to sleep to enjoy relaxing with a book (relaxing until I nod off and my Kindle bops me in the glasses!). My only wish is that I had a bathtub. Now THAT was relaxing. When the weather gets warmer, I also enjoy some Vitamin D therapy on the patio with the cats (on leashes) with a good PF sunscreen.

Maureen said...

Oh that sounds so nice Nancy- Ive been saying the same thing about getting back out on our porch. lol that your cats will wear a leash- that's great!

Tena Stetler said...

You hit the nail on the head. Seems the world has us by the tail and refuses to let go. Reading is my way to let the world go by without including me. I can wander off to a corner of magic and fantasy for a while and forget about the stress of my world. Just gotta make sure you make time. No excuses. LOL Great article!

Mary Morgan said...

Wonderful post and advice, Maureen. I've learned to go at a much slower pace and do more things that make me happy, which includes lots of self-care.

Diane Burton said...

I think you offered this class just for me. Seriously, I need to remind myself that I matter amid my worries about my husband. I've already signed up for the class. I hope to see others I know there, too.

Maureen said...

Thanks for stopping by! This last year or so has given us all even more reasons to ensure we're taking care of ourselves.

Abigail Owen said...

I still struggle with feeling guilty when I want to lay down and read or do something "not productive." Such good points that this is necessary, not just an indulgence. xoxo

Nightingale said...

Good advice. I need to listen.