Self-Care Is Not Selfish

There are a lot of things causing anxiety these days. We live in a complex and stressful world full of uncertainty right now. Will the COVID-19 vaccines provide the immunity needed to help us? Will there be more senseless violence at the Presidential inauguration this week? Our teachers and students are stressed as they navigate the constant changes and challenges of online education. Our healthcare workers (both front line and behind the scenes) are pulled and stretched in every direction trying to help patients. Many people are struggling financially. We’re constantly plugged in to technology and yet are more disconnected from each other than ever before.

So how do we help ourselves ride the inevitable storms that come our way? How do we handle daily chaos without feeling overwhelmed? We all know that we should make our health and well-being a priority. But we seem to make excuses as to why we don’t take care of ourselves. So what’s the problem? Lack of money, lack of time, lack of resources, lack of awareness, lack of motivation. We may feel disheartened to “fix” our life because we think there are too many problems to tackle. But we don’t have to completely overhaul our lifestyle in one month, or even one year, to make a difference. We just have to take one step forward right now.

Practicing self-care provides stress management techniques to help us cope with life’s challenges. If you have been following my blog you know that I live with several chronic illnesses. Managing my medical conditions can be quite stressful, especially when I am hospitalized. I recently spent a week in the hospital over the new year due to a severe asthma flare. It sucked ass. None of the hospital doctors could reach my asthma doctor or anyone on her team for treatment recommendations. I had to call every time I needed to go to the bathroom because I was hooked up to the heart monitor and my bed alarm was turned on to prevent me from getting out of bed unattended. I had to call for my insulin with every meal. I had to call for the respiratory therapist even though I had breathing treatments scheduled at regular intervals. I was stressed out because I felt like I had lost my freedom and I thought I could do a better job managing my care at home.

On top of all that, the hospital team wanted to shove a camera down my throat to look at my vocal cords because my voice was intermittently hoarse. I have had this done a few times with my ear, nose, and throat doctor to monitor the size of a large polyp. It always causes swelling in my tongue and throat afterwards due to my hereditary angioedema which requires treatment. I refused to do this scope while I was in the hospital since I just had one done 3 weeks before and the hospital didn’t stock the medication needed to treat my hereditary angioedema. We already knew that my vocal cords don’t close all the way because they have become very thin as a result of all the prednisone I have been on. This gap in my vocal cords is why my voice is intermittently hoarse. SIX different doctors kept pushing me to consent to the scope. I felt bullied but I stood my ground. I was pissed that these doctors wouldn’t listen to me and understand that there was no benefit to shoving a camera down my throat when we already had an explanation for my hoarseness.

So what do I do to calm the fuck down when I feel like a hostage held in the hospital? How can I practice self-care while hospitalized where I have limited resources? I do deep breathing exercises, look at pictures and videos of my kitties on my phone, watch TV shows that make me laugh, and look up corny jokes online. Here’s my favorite joke right now: Is buttcheeks one word? Or should I spread them apart? 🤣😂🍑

Now that I am managing my health at home again, my self-care activities have expanded. I enjoy watching our cats run around the house like wildebeests, listening to my favorite music, pigging out on comfort food, tending to our plants and orchids, and taking long hot showers. There’s nothing more refreshing than washing the hospital stank off!

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Don’t put off self-care for later because later will never come. We have to make time now for what’s important and self-care should be a priority. It can help you transition from simply existing to living and experiencing everything this world has to offer. Which would you rather be doing? 

16 thoughts on “Self-Care Is Not Selfish

  1. Yes, it’s not selfish to take care of ourselves one in a while. We’re just so used to the pressure and standards that this society has put up, that we have to keep moving or else we’ll get left behind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so right Joana that we feel so pressured to live up to other people’s standards that we neglect ourselves. I think we also tend to put other people’s needs (family, friends, coworkers) before our own. I believe it’s important to try to remind ourselves that if we practice self-care we’re in a better position to help those we love otherwise we burn ourselves out putting everyone else’s needs before our own. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a lovely post! I am so sorry for all that you’ve went through at the hospital and glad that you are home again where you can manage your own self-care. I agree that it is important to put ourselves first including our needs and wants. We live in a society in which we are taught that thinking of ourselves first is selfish or wrong. But in order to do well, you’ve got to put yourself first. Because in the long run, you are the only person who matters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Helen! You are right that society teaches us that it’s selfish to put ourselves first. So often we put out loved ones needs before our own only to burnout in the end. If we take care of ourselves first then we are better able to care for our loved ones. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup 🙂 Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sorry you had to spend time in the hospital but good for you for standing up for yourself with those doctors and finding ways to incorporate self-care activities into your time there. Self-care should definitely be a part of our daily lives. It is so important, a necessity not a luxury for sure.
    I love that joke btw. Had me laughing out loud so thanks for that.
    I read a post from another blogger on Sunday and it’s all about wellness. Hope you don’t mind if I share it here:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are right Amy —self care is not selfish. It’s means we are prioritising ourselves. I love the joke😂😂it’s often those ones that makes you laugh out loud.

    How are you feeling now? X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad the joke made you laugh out loud 😄 It made me do the same thing so I just had to share it! I am feeling better each day! 😊❤ Thank you for reading and checking in on me!


  5. I went to the hospital recently for chest pains, which spiked my anxiety and so they wanted to inject some medication to calm me down and reduce pain but I refused. I apologized to the nurse who barged in, with needles, announcing what she wanted to do. I told her I wasn’t trying to be a pain, but that I felt like I wasn’t in enough pain for meds nor was I freaked out enough to take something to “calm down.” Nothing wrong with standing your ground in the hospital. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry you had to go to the hospital recently. Having chest pains had to be scary! Sometimes we have to advocate for ourselves. We know our bodies best and not every medication or procedure is necessary. It can be stressful explaining that to medical professionals sometimes. I hope you are doing better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts 🙂 I think we’re conditioned to put other people’s s needs before our own so often that we end up neglecting ourselves. But if we remember that by taking care of ourselves first we’re in a better position to help others.


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