The idea of self-care is something that has gained an exceptional amount of interest in recent years, as a billion-dollar industry springs up around the concept. Very successfully, businesses have monetized the idea that you are worth more – and so, vitamins and supplements are considered to be part of self-care, but so too are expensive holidays and meals in fashionable restaurants. It’s inescapable that the idea of self-care has moved a long way from the fundamentals of looking after your health, and in many cases now means “you have an excuse to spend money”.
While having nice things is not too much to ask, and you should always have the chance to bring more light to your life, self-care should first and foremost be about valuing yourself. Your wellbeing, your future and your work-life balance. Sometimes, this will mean asking for more than you’re currently given. And below, we will look at how, why and where you should ask for more in the interests of your own self-care.
In the workplace: Don’t be intimidated into accepting less than the best
Whatever job you do, it has implications for your health. There are probably people with more dangerous jobs than yours, whose health is more immediately at risk from what they do for a living. This doesn’t mean that you should be prepared to ignore what your mind and body tell you when the job places unrealistic demands on you and puts you in the line of fire from illness or injury. Ensure that your employer is prepared to guarantee all employees are covered by proper health and safety services. Many people are scared to make this demand, but it’s the least you deserve, and the law agrees.
Your own health: Be prepared to fight your corner
This may be a slightly unpopular statement, but sometimes your doctor isn’t going to go as far as they can and should in ensuring your health is as good as it can be. Particularly if you are a woman, it’s entirely possible that your GP is skeptical about how much pain you say you are in. This is one of many often unconscious biases that go unnoticed, and we are reluctant to question our doctors, but they are fallible. You’re perfectly entitled to press your case with a doctor who palms you off with “it’s probably nothing” or “you just need to relax more”. Be clear about your symptoms and ask for clarity – and if you have difficulty doing that, attend the surgery with a friend who is more forthright in advocating for you.
If you check out this dentist in Lexington, they’ll tell you that they actually appreciate it when patients ask clarification questions. So, don’t be afraid to ask.
Your relationships: Make awkward conversations less awkward
All of us have people we love. And the people we love have the potential to hurt us – either deliberately or entirely by accident. Because we love them, we often have a tendency to accept what they have done and move on for the sake of harmony. The truth is, though, that such harmony can only ever be temporary, because if you don’t lay down boundaries you will end up accepting more and more, until the hurt is too much.
When people hurt you, it is important to let them know in a firm but non-incendiary way. They may not know what they are doing is hurting you, or if they do, they may think you’ll stand for it anyway because you value the good parts of your relationship too much. Placing boundaries is a way of saying “I’m not here unconditionally; I expect some basic standards” – and when everyone knows where they stand, you’ll find ways to get along.