Self-Care Is Not Earned

Prior to PsA, I felt that I earned the right to spend extra time and money on my physical and mental health. Working hard and excelling at my job justified everything I did in the name of self-care. I needed supplements to remain healthy and able to perform at work. I needed time away so I could come back to work with new ideas.

PsA changed how I practiced self-care

PsA changed all of that. Life became more difficult. Working outside the home fulltime was no longer an option. Heck, there were some days when I could barely handle getting my son to school and feeding my toddler lunch. Not being able to keep up with what I used to think of as simple tasks led to feeling like a failure.

I was failing as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and more. I no longer believed that I deserved to take time for me when I couldn’t keep up with caring for everybody else. The problem with this mentality was that I believed that self-care was something I had to earn. What I needed to and thankfully later learned was that self-care isn’t earned, instead, it is something we must make time for.

Changing my mind set about self-care

I no longer put a price tag on a 30-minute soak in the tub. Gone are the days of thinking that I am less important than the rest of my family. I recognize that I have more to offer them when I pace, adapt, and even pamper myself a bit.

This wasn’t an easy place to reach. There was a period when I felt the only time I could justify self-care was when I was flaring. This turned an act that I used to think was good into something that was reserved for pain and despair.

I do not need to earn or justify caring for my body and mind. In order to live my best life, I need to be proactive and spend time caring for myself on a daily basis. My self-care plan isn’t something that I schedule; instead, it has become a way of life. Every day is filled with time spent on something that enhances my life. This doesn’t make me selfish, it makes me stronger and that strength allows me to better care for others.

Ease into self-care as a daily practice

If you are struggling to make self-care a priority, I offer you this little piece of advice: Take it slow! If you feel strange doing something by and for yourself, include someone else in your plans. Try a couple’s massage with your partner, a spa day with a pal, or an afternoon spent coloring with your kids.

Make sure that it is something that you want to do and that it adds value to your health and life. Self-care is not only something that is not earned; it shouldn’t be something that makes your life more difficult.

Are you guilty of neglecting your self-care needs? What can you do today that will enhance your life tomorrow?

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