LOVE LOVE LOVE this topic! Ohhh man it’s just so great, mainly because of the amazing things that it does, how it’s changed my life and only about a million other people’s too but also because of the controversy!
Is it selfish? Is it for women who need an excuse to spend money? Is it airy-fairy? Does Islam teach self-care? (say whaaaat?)
I’m about to tell you how it really is so here we go.
Self-care is basically anything that fills your needs – for your body, your mind, your heart, your soul.
We all have different needs emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually to be able to cater for ourselves as a whole human being.
For some, one of these aspects may be of higher importance. One may need much more care emotionally than they do physically or vice versa.
Self-care is then very personal and specific to you.
There are many aspects of self-care and only you will know what you need to work on but we’ll get into the details of this later.
Why you NEED Self-Care
This isn’t a ‘want’ kinda thing, like you might want the new phone or new shoes.
NO. You actually NEED self-care.
Yes, even you who thinks it’s some made-up ish for people as soft as chewed gum. It really is for everyone!
It improves the quality of your life
If you’re always saying to yourself “One day, I’ll do this.” or “I wish I could do that, I just don’t have the time.” Then self-care makes it happen.
Maybe you don’t even know what you want. Self-care helps you to figure that out.
Maybe you’re stressed and going through a really difficult time. Self-care gives you the tools to get through it.
Self-care gives you what you need to make every day feel good.
It gets your priorities in check
Self-care helps you to organise your life the way that it makes sense to you and feels right to you, moving toward the things that matter to you most.
If you were planning a road trip all over Europe for six months leaving next week, what would you do?
Spend the week:
A: Watching Youtube videos about the best pizzas in Europe and telling all your friends about it.
B: Sleeping – I need rest before that long drive!
C: Making and completing preparations for the car, fuel, money, food, planning the routes, organising the time spent in each place and using Instagram for inspo and getting excited!
The correct answer is whatever it is that you need to prepare for your goal. Only you know what your priorities are!
(I only hope you would include elements of C in there to make it a successful trip and with fewer setbacks! Also option A sounds intriguing with all those pizzas).
But the point is that with option C, it means you are preparing for your ultimate goal while still enjoying the process and doing what’s good for you.
This is the trick to having a balance of getting things done and looking after yourself too.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves doing things because we may want them in the moment, but will make us suffer later because our true needs were neglected.
Choose the option that excites you and makes you feel good but is also beneficial for you. It makes you more fulfilled and more likely to help and give to others too.
Self-care is both sitting on the couch all evening because you just cannot bear to lift one more finger but it’s also running around like a lunatic for half a morning just to get ish done. Self-care my friend, self-care.
But your whole life should be prioritised with what matters to you most at the very top and everything else becomes secondary.
It is a life-span journey of our True Purpose and our Dunya purpose.
We know our life here (Dunya) is but a crazy adventure of joys, successes, failures, family drama, temptations, travels, fun and heartbreak.
We have worldly goals. We want to become doctors and save lives or become business owners and change the world.
We want our parents’ approval, we want to create families and become amazing mothers and wives.
We want to see the world. We want to live in nice homes. We can want all of these things because we have a purpose in this life.
But we also have our ultimate goal to meet Allah swt. Our True Purpose is preparing for the akhira. Our big Purpose is to serve Allah and worship Allah within and through all of that.
Self-care makes sure that instead of spending most of your life binge-watching Friends on Netflix, you’re actually making small moves every day toward your life goals and your True Purpose, and maybe watch an ep or two for a good laugh to keep you going.
Self-Care is NOT Selfish
It seems lately self-care get a bad rap, it’s seen as egotistical or selfish.
If you know me, you know I LOVE to travel. And when I’m sitting on the plane and they do all the standard safety announcements, which I’ll admit I don’t really listen to anymore, they say:
In case of emergency – if you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your oxygen mask first, then assist the other person.
I always used to think this was so rude!. It’s an emergency and you wouldn’t help your poor oblivious and defenseless little child? You’d help yourself first? Urgh, what a b..
I mean, how selfish?
But actually it makes complete sense.
If you can’t breathe because you have no oxygen, how the hell are you supposed to help someone else?
Self-care is the way for you to have all your essentials that allow you to breathe easy in life, so you can give, love and care for all those around you.
So how could it be selfish if it is THE way to give others, not just more but the very best of you?
In fact, it would be impossible to sustain and probably even harmful without it!
I would even go as far as saying it’s selfish not to practice self-care because you could be doing harm to others.
I’ve experienced this both ways; on the receving side of harsh words from someone who hasn’t taken care of themselves and I’ve also not been able to give my best to others.
And I’ll bet you’ve experienced the same.
Not giving your true self, not having enough love in yourself to give your child, not enough energy to play with him.
Snapping too quickly at your partner because you’re exhausted.
So point made….self-care is not selfish. How do you like them apples?
Self-Care is encouraged in Islam?
Wait, what’s that now?
Yes, it’s actually taught in Islam. Think about it.
If self-care is any activity that tends to your needs emotionally, physically, spiritually and more, then it most definitely is Islamic because many of Allah’s words and teachings of the Prophet (saw) are about our needs as humans.
Look at this.
We’re taught to remember God because it’s where our hearts find rest – Emotional Self-Care!
Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. Quran 13:28
You know I said there’s seven types of self-care? I’ll tell you all about them in the next blog post, coming soon, so you will learn how to take care of yourself in every way.
But check this out too.
We’re taught to never stop learning – Intellectual and Mental Self-Care!
And say: ‘Allah, increase me in knowledge (rabbi zidnee ‘ilman) Quran 20:114
And be honest now foodies, how many times have you eaten until you couldn’t breathe anymore?
We’re taught to eat a third, drink a third and leave a third of our stomach for air. (From a hadith where the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was heard saying this – found in Mawsoo’ah al fiqhiyah)
Don’t go taking my shawarmas away from me but is that not PORTION CONTROL? – Physical Self-Care.
It amazes me every time I read something like these examples and realise how much Allah knows us inside out and has already given us the tools to look after ourselves. To treat ourselves as we should; with respect, with care, with love and to give ourselves what we truly need.
It’s so beautiful!
I hope you start to see self-care the way I do, as a necessity and not a luxury. And I intend to help you on your personal self-care journey.
I’ve made the Ultimate Self-Care Guide, a complete step-by-step manual to get you started and going in your self-care.
You can make it everything you want it to be, because it is yours, it’s personal and it’s unique and special to you.
I show you exactly how to make this happen. It also has inspiring quotes, daily and weekly trackers, and exclusive tips from me. It will be out soon!
To be the first to know when it’s out and get your hands on it – do these 3 things.
Reflect, know yourself and create the best version of you and the life that you want.