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Sometimes supporting someone we love by doing something they love (even if we don’t love it too) is an act of self-care.
Yesterday, I accompanied my husband to yet another record show. Would I have preferred to stay in the car and read a book? Yes. I would have. But since he wanted me to go, of course I went. It was important to him, so it became important to me.
If you’re wondering how exactly doing something for someone else is considered self-care, then perhaps we need to take a step back and reconsider what self-care truly is. (And also remind ourselves that self-care isn’t at all the same thing as being selfish.)
Self-Care is a preventive health strategy involving actions and behaviors that improve, restore, or maintain good health. Health is a complex, interconnected system that involves eight unique dimensions:
The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care:
Systemic – How we eat, move and rest
Emotive – How we express ourselves
Luminescent – How we illuminate our inner truth
Financial – How we allocate our resources
Cognitive – How we think
Aptitudinal – How we contribute to the world
Relational – How we connect with others
Environmental – How we harmonize with nature
Our connection with others (the relational dimension of our health) is tied very closely to many of the other dimensions as well. We experience an emotional response when we express ourselves, and that response varies depending on how well we communicate with others. We may or may not be able to illuminate our inner truth as easily depending on our company. And we may even experience physical stress when our relationships aren’t going so well.
Of course, if we find that we’re doing so much for others that we’re neglecting ourselves, it’s no longer self-care. In many instances, especially when that pattern is continued over long periods of time, we’re less equipped to do much of anything for others.
When we take care of one another, we in turn nurture our relationships. And that is indeed an act of self-care.