Self Care - Selfish or Selfless?

The most common conclusion that people jump to is that taking care of yourself is selfish – after all it’s taking precious time away from loved ones, from work, from ____ fill in the blank.  I mean there is only so many hours in any given day right?  What people seem to forget is how important it is to take care of health.  If WE don’t take care of ourselves who will?  If WE don’t make the time to eat right, exercise and get plenty of rest how long can we realistically expect our bodies to survive the demands we place on ourselves?

Quite honestly I believe that when we chose not to take care of ourselves that this is the epitome of selfishness.  How can we possibly give our best to those we care the most about if we are ‘burning the candle at both ends’?  As a wife, mother, pet owner, small business owner, sister, aunt, friend and daughter I understand firsthand the day to day demands on my time.  Yes exercise is my career but I don’t get paid to work out I get paid to help others workout.  This means that I get to find time to work out on my own, plan and eat healthy food choices and get plenty of rest as well as do everything else I need to get done in the course of a day.  No small feat!

I understand that there are days when it’s a struggle just to get the ‘priorities’ accomplished – I also understand that I get WAY more accomplished when I have energy.  A great way to rev your engine is to go for a walk to get your blood pumping which helps with mental clarity AND helps reduce stress.  Eating healthy foods gives us more energy as well as helps boost the immune system.  This in combination with getting enough rest and exercise helps us be germ resistant.  All of these things are important to help get through busy days. 

I don't know about you but having to stay in bed due to a cold or flu is aggravating for me.  If I want to ay around in bed I want it to be on MY terms not because I have a cold or flu bug.  Another reason for taking time out to take care of ourselves is health care costs.  When we take care of ourselves we stay healthy, when we're healthy we don't go to the doctor as often which saves us money.  And time.... 

I firmly believe that when we take the time to take care of ourselves we are acting selflessly because we are showing our loved ones that we love them SO much that we are giving them the best of ourselves as opposed to whatever is left over at the end of the day which often times isn't a whole lot.

The last point I want to leave you with is to ask you what type of role model are you for those you love the most?  When we take care of ourselves we tell thoe around us that we are a priority.  This sends the message to daughters that THEY are a priority. our kids watch what we do as well as listen to what we say.  When our kids watch us take care of ourselves we teach them to take care of themselves - that it's important to make their health a priority.  Every Mom and Dad I know want their kids to be happy and the best way to be happy is to be able to enjoy the things we love to do. 

If we lose our health we lose our ability to enjoy the things in life that bring us joy.  That's a pretty high price to pay for not taking the time to take care ourselves.  So I say that when we choose not to take care of ourselves we are being selfish - when we make the time to make ourselves and our health a priority we are being selfless.

Here's to You in Health, Wellness and Fitness,

Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness

Listen to my weekly radio show Let's Talk every Thursday from 9-10 AM PST