“A true act of self-care nurtures you in the moment but also nourishes the person that you are becoming. It helps you cope now but also protects the health of your future self.” Suzy Reading
I came across this powerful quote in a magazine this month, it really got me pondering the meaning of self-care. It’s easy to see it as having treats, the hedonistic, feel good now way of looking after yourself. The problem with those kinds of things, be they food, alcohol, sex, box sets etc, is that while they soothe and gratify right now, they may leave a feeling behind them of regret, or of not being at your best or most fulfilled.
Self-care is not the same as self-pleasing. When we care, we do what is nourishing and protective, what supports our well-being in the fullest sense, so they glow of it lasts and grows, it doesn’t fade away. It gives eudaimonic happiness, the type that is about growth and fulfillment.
Hedonism isn’t bad, so long as we see and know it for what it is, and we make deliberate choices as to how we indulge. A little bit of what you like does you good after all. In my experience though, feeling good in the medium term calls for a bit more than that.