Self-Care Is Not An Indulgence. It’s A Discipline.

Holidays are tiring, even at the best of times; so much activity, so much cultural and visual stimulation, more potential social engagements, etc. Whether one enjoys the holidays or is sad during the holidays, research tells us that it is a stressful time of the year. Throughout November and December, in the Palms weekly bulletin will be a brief idea or list to contemplate to give yourself permission to be more in charge of what you wish to do during these holidays.

The first main goal: SELF-CARE. It is not selfish, it is not an indulgence or being spoiled. It is a necessity. Just like taking your medication regularly…not randomly. It has to be deliberate; it is a discipline.

A quote from Tami Forman in a 2017 Forbes article went viral: “Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.” (The article appeared again in April 2019 in Forbes).

Self-care should not be a once-in-a-while indulgence to get your balance back. It needs to become a practice. Forman’s examples:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Does this sounds boring? Yes, working on discipline and boundaries is, but it is vital. The best holiday gift you can give yourself…and you deserve it!!!…is a self-care plan. Remember, it is not selfish nor indulgent.

Kay F. Klinkenborg, MA
Spiritual Director
Member Spiritual Directors International
Retired: RN; LMFT: Clinical Member AAMFT