Self-Care Is Not An Indulgence. It’s A Discipline.
Or so claims a headline that popped up in my Facebook feed, anyway. Unlike most headlines that keep me scanning down, this one grabbed my attention enough to click. This talk about self-care came from a Forbes article that defines self-care as taking care of you on the inside, making sure you follow a routine that leads to good health. Examples include:
- Turning off the TV instead of watching another episode of “The Crown” because the alarm is going off at 5am so you can get to the gym.
- Declining the second drink at the office holiday party. It might even be declining the first drink.
- Saying “no” to the thing you don’t want to do even if someone is going to be angry at you.
- Maintaining financial independence.
- Doing work that matters.
- Letting other people take care of themselves.
OK, fine. So what about the outside of me? The indulgent part?
Now interestingly, we were just talking about self-care in our Brazen Insiders Facebook group, where we discuss everything that has anything to do with women who are 35+ (except kids, of course, because *snooze*). The kind of self-care we were discussing there was not the do-this-and-you-will-be-healthy-on-the-inside variety. It was about how, when it comes to “outer” self-care—getting nails painted or hair dyed, wearing makeup and a cute outfit to the grocery store, you know, the “indulgences”—women shouldn’t feel under an “obligation to look pretty”.
Hey hold the phone, people. Can’t self-care include the indulgences on the outside, like treating yourself to a Gucci purse or the blessing of a blow dry? I can’t be the only one who dolls up now and then to take selfies I love. Haven’t I earned the right by now to do the pretty thing without being judged?
Bottom line: Self-care is an indulgence, if I want it to be.
Not gonna lie. I love being told I look pretty. I also love looking at myself in the mirror and seeing pretty whether I’m working at home, going to the gym, or wherever else I find myself. Should I feel guilty if stylish workout clothes or makeup or heels help me get through my day standing a little taller?
Caring about my looks doesn’t mean I deserve to be judged by someone who doesn’t. It means I’m being the best version of me I know how to be. My self-care is both a discipline and an indulgence, and the extent to which I focus on one or the other, well, I’ll let me be the judge of that.