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The Paradox of Self-care

The quotation of “Self-care is not selfish” has been all over different kinds of social media platforms; a lot of people promote the kind of love toward self, but is it really promoting self-care? Self-care can be different from others' perspectives, some may want to have alone time, some want to go to retreats, and some do the things they love to do without minding other people’s judgment. Self-care is different from rewarding yourself from exhaustion and a stressful week at work, school, or home. Self-care is a self-explanatory word; it is a process of taking care of one's self including emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual over overwhelming situations. For me, self-care integrates a process of self-healing.

People nowadays talk and promote self-care yet fail to talk about what is the reason behind their stress, burnout, or why they do self-care? Is purchasing something from an online shop self-care? or is it just temporary happiness to make ourselves at ease? We cannot deny that most of our social circle may think that self-care is a form of selfishness, that is why most of us fail to understand what self-care truly is.

Let us take note of the distinction between selfless and selfish for us to be able to comprehend what is self-care. A selfless person is a person who thinks about the needs of other people, such as their family and friends, without thinking of one's own needs. On the other hand, selfishness is thinking about one’s desire, pleasure, and thinking about what is profitable for them and not thinking about other people. If selfless and selfish have distinction, therefore self-care is a paradox of these two distinctions wherein self-care is taking care of one's own self to prevent us from the stressors that will cause our burnout.

I mentioned that self-care integrates a process of self-healing because I believe that every day we heal from the pain of yesterday. Self-care is committing to the things we love to do, and we find it meaningful to ourselves.

According to the Institute of Crisis and Trauma Resources, there are four (4) key dimensions in self-care; those are physical self-care, emotional self-care, spiritual self-care, and psychological self-care. These four key dimensions are interconnected with each other.

How do these four key dimensions connected to one another?

  • First, physical self-care, when we care for ourselves by means of eating healthy, exercising, and enough rest it reduces our stress, anxiety improves our overall mood?

  • Second, according to the blog, emotional self-care we must give ourselves some time to restore our energy, and by connecting with other people such as friends, family, or loved ones who give us support, love, and kindness, likewise. We must turn our energy into positive as it also helps us improve our mental health, connect spiritually with other people and ourselves.

  • Third, psychological self-care is common as a lot of people are promoting self-care equates to mental health. When we experience stress or burnout because of uncertainty, we lose focus on our goals and become anxious about the future. Now, in psychological self-care, we must focus on the things that we control and what is our present then re-evaluate, and reframe our mind by taking some time to reflect. We must focus on the things that we will learn and grow.

  • Lastly, spiritual self-care, by doing meditation, prayer, or whatever the things that make your body, mind, and soul connected. Spiritual self-care is finding meaning beyond what you are doing. Now we come up with the question, how can someone care for others if he/she does not care for themselves?



4 key dimensions of self-care. Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute. (2020, December 14).


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