Is Self-Care Really Selfish Or Something Absolutely Essential?

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We all have that ONE thing that our mother's told us over and over while growing up. 

  • "Never leave the house without lipstick"
  • "Don't cry over a boy who won't cry over you"
  • "One day you will understand."

For me, I will always remember what my mother said with a tone of regret..

"I WISH I would have put myself first more often".

As mothers, I don't know why we become martyrs to motherhood so easily. We put our families first, our to-do's, and place ourselves last.

How did we get like this?

I think that all women have this divine trait that makes them want to serve. As Christian women, we are further taught that it's good to serve and set ourselves aside.

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35)

While this is true and I believe it wholeheartedly, there has to be a balance.

If there was ONE thing I could remember the most about Gordon B. Hinckley,

it's the phrase "Forget Yourself and Get to Work".

That is what his father wrote to him on his mission when he contemplated going home. 

Again, we are told to forget ourselves right? But if we dig deeper, we learn that this advice isn't 24/7...

Gordon B. Hinckley said at a BYU fireside,

"Forget yourselves and reach out. Occasionally (emphasis added), put in the background your own personal, selfish interests. Reach out in service to others. In so doing, you will find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow"

There's the secret. OCCASIONALLY. 

Plus I think he's talking about occasionally giving things up like our Netflix time and Instagram Scrolling!

Of course, it's not like we can only occasionally feed our children or occasionally clean the house but the point is that it's ok to focus on yourself at times.

If we look to another scripture, we are reminded to take care of ourselves.

"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." (Mosiah 4:27)

In fact, through modern day prophets, we are learning more and more about how important it is to take care of yourself too.

Just in June 2016, The Church released their Mental Health Page which features Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his own experience with mental health challenges and depression.

That site offers beautiful videos and resources to help others know what to do. And guess what they say...

SELF CARE!

I have to admit that finding "self-care" help for LDS women was tough so it seemed like it's wasn't an important thing but as I kept digging I found more and more help available. 

While we are taught about self-reliance in terms of saving food and money all the time, it's important to know that our self-care is part of self-reliance too.

I discovered a lesson on self-reliance for LDS women and confirmed the thought that Heavenly Father wants us to take care of ourselves.

"We need to strengthen ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and socially. As we do so we will be better prepared to work through problems and sorrows."

There it is!

I think sometimes there is a so-called stigma in the Church that we need to put ourselves last but that is not true.

Heavenly Father NEEDS us to be at our best so we be able to do his work the best. 

So here's a challenge. Give yourself time today to do something for YOU. Take a nap, read a book, write in a journal, work on a hobby. It's not selfish, it's essential.

And to give you a head start, you can check out the list below for ideas!

Self Care Tips for Moms