Self Care: You Are a Priority Not an Option

Self care, I believe it to be one of the most selfish selfless acts one can do, particularly those of us living in our 30s.  No, that statement was not a typo, it is more like an oxymoron.  Simply put, it is all about you taking care of you and making sure your mind, body and spirit are well. Some would say that is an act of selfishness when in essence it really expresses the statement: “make sure your house in order before inviting others to come over.” Western society has us trained to believe that we must always help our fellow man, lend our neighbor a hand at all cost…even at our expense.

“If we do not take care of self then we are not well enough to help others; caring for ourselves equates to caring for others because we are able to give our best when we feel our best.  Self care is self love.”

Caring for self is crucial.  A blog piece written by Emily Roberts in explains why and I agree with what she states.  As a woman of 35, I notice what my friends, peers and I endure while we live in our 30s.  We are embarking on new chapters in our lives within the age bracket of 30 to 39 and most of the time that comes along with taxing mental and physical tasks.  We work jobs, have children, do family caregiving, change relationships, become entreprenuers and much more- all of which can burn us out if we do not pace ourselves.

“It is important to recalibrate our minds, rejuvenate our bodies and renew our spirits often when we do these things, otherwise, we are at the mercy of unnecessary stress that has potential to be toxic.”

I find self care is an antidote to stress, it is needed as part of positive mental health and full function of our bodies.  We should work, play but also love on ourselves, it is essential for our livelihood.

There are a plethora of ways to practice self care and there are no right or wrong ways of doing it.  Give yourself what YOU need, you know yourself best. Meditation, prayer, a day off from work, a candlelit bath, a spa day, eating healthy foods are just a few ways we can nurture ourselves. Evelyn Lim, an expert on helping people transform their lives, has written a blog on 70 ways to practice caring and loving yourself.   She shares creative yet simple ways to do it.  My personal self care practice is washing my long locs, giving myself a pedicure, spending long hours in my meditation room, journal my thoughts and cultivating food in my personal vegetable garden.  These are inexpensive, empowering relaxing things I need to do to reconnect with self after being engulfed in work, childcare, running my consulting business, and driving every day in the city of Chicago. Create your own self care regimine that works for your lifestyle and practice it as often as needed. Be empowered by your own self love the best way you know how.

There should be no guilt in caring for self.  It is not ego tripping or being self centered, it is all about making sure you are well in mind, body and spirit.  These are the things that help you function, maintain and live as a human being, so taking care of them is top priority.  When you do this not only are you caring for self but you also help others connected to you. I write this blog post to remind you to make it a priority to practice self care because you are not an option.  Take care!


Published by

Jacqueline A.

Jacqueline Smith is a health conscious urban vegetable gardener, earth stewardess, food justice advocate as well as the owner and lead consultant of GrowAsis Urban Garden Consulting Inc. on Chicago’s south side.  Jacqueline transitioned out of corporate America to focus on environmental sustainable garden practices and educate urban residents on how to grow and secure their own food. Prior to her current position in GrowAsis, she has worked in various leadership roles within the urban agricultural arena with the Chicago Botanic Garden, Urban Habitat Chicago, and We Farm America. In addition to her work in the food justice movement, she has 8 years experience working with youth in Chicago Public Schools and various non-profit organizations. Jacqueline has a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota and masters degree in public service from DePaul University.

3 thoughts on “Self Care: You Are a Priority Not an Option”

  1. I loved this. “Make sure your house is in order before inviting others to come over.” Ive always been a firm believer in this idea as related to self care. Its very hard to have a healthy relationship to others when you dont focus on your own health as well.


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