Why Self-Care Is Not Optional—It’s Crucial

Why Self-Care Is Not Optional—It’s Crucial

Let's be honest, how many of us put our kids', family's, or partner's needs before our own? And how many of us put our job as the next priority? Next in line might be volunteering at school, helping out a friend, or taking care of our community, all while we sit quietly on the wee bottom of the list with very little time or energy left for ourselves.

Sound familiar? 

There's nothing wrong with pouring love into these many facets of our lives, and most likely we do these things not because we have to, but because we want to serve and contribute in a meaningful way.

No judgement! But I'm going to say something crazy.

It's time to put our self-care at the tippy top of the list.

Why Self-Care is Important According to Ayurveda

Why is self-care so important? Very simply because:

  • Nobody is going to do it for us.
  • If we are not healthy, happy, and resourced, we will be of NO service to anybody else. 

If this doesn't resonate yet, then check this out. Ayurveda's focus is prevention as we strive to eat the right things, think the right things, and do the right things at the right time, according to our Ayurvedic constitution. So we're all practicing the best we can, but do you know the root of why we do all these things?

Because prevention is important for longevity. And...wait for it...longevity is important so that we can live our dharma (purpose). That's it. That's why we live. Dharma. Period.

All this striving to be healthy and live a good long life is ultimately so that we can live our dharma and serve in some way.

“According to this definition, we can say that the dharma of every living being is 'to serve' because there is no living being who is not serving someone knowingly or unknowingly.”— Astanga Hrdayam by Sanjay Pisharodi AH Su 1.2

The goal is not to give everything of ourselves away to everybody else so that we are left a tired, sloggy, irritated, burnt out mess.

Nope. Because then we bring crummy energy, lack of presence, and even resentment to those things that should be full of love and joy! We might even be too sick or tired to show up. And that's not living!

We have things reversed—the self needs to come first so that we can serve!

Your Self-Care Manifesto

Convinced yet? I hope so. Because right now, we are going to make a vow to put self-care first. Sit up straight, lift your pretty chin, put your hand on your heart, and say:

“From this day forward, before I do anything else, I will take care of ME. Because I deserve it and I am already enough. Every day I will take at least fifteen minutes to care for my body, heart, and mind, so I can live and serve with joy. It is essential that I take care of me. I love me. Thank you for me.” 

Now, did that resonate in your bones? I hope it brought a goose bump or a tear. If it did, we touched on something awesome. Most people don't focus on their self-care until they are already sick.

It's your job to get ahead of the game so you can keep serving and loving this life!

Simple Ideas for Daily Self-Care

Here are some simple Ayurvedic self-care practices to inspire you and help you get started. Begin by choosing just one or two things to do this week, no more.

After you've chosen your self-care practices, make a verbal commitment to yourself to follow through. It may sound something like, "I will consciously breathe for ten minutes each day and I will drink enough water" or "I will calm my mind with ten minutes of meditation and I will choose to eat the best foods I can find."

Slow and consistent changes create lasting results.

Never forget that we are here for a reason. We have a greater purpose than ourselves. And precisely for that reason, it's imperative that we take care of ourselves first. 

About the Author

Monica Bloom, AP

Monica Bloom is the expert at tucking Ayurveda into modern life. Monica has been teaching Ayurveda since 2008 at heymonicab.com and authored In Your Elements:...

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