Opportunity cost of self care
Having a box full of beautifully organised tools doesn't fix the leaky tap in the kitchen. The same principle applies to all areas of our lives. We can know exactly how to go about healing ourselves and still never get round to doing the work. We're human beings and we make excuses... constantly.
Raise your hands if you promise yourself faithfully every Monday that you're going to start meditating tonight before you go to bed... or you're going to start that eating plan... or fitness regime... You're not alone. Look at all those hands in the air. We all do it and it all comes down to one big problem.
We don't prioritise the things that truly add to our lives. We spend so much time and so much energy on things that need to be done in order for the daily grind to function and when the time comes to really take care of ourselves on a deep level, we're just exhausted. It's called opportunity cost. We pick the things that we feel are really important at the expense of the things that aren't screaming at us to be done... until they start screaming in the form of depression, low self esteem, burnout or spiritual emptiness.
We live in a world that tells us that self care is important and we can fulfil that need with candlelit baths, pedicures or some time out just for ourselves. That's great but we also have this belief that me time takes second place to time spent taking care of those around us. The truly important things in life aren't always fun, so we take one for the team and we neglect our own growth.
What if I told you that self care isn't about all the fun, relaxing stuff? What if I told you that self care is tough? It's digging deep and excavating so that we can find the things inside us that allow us to grow. It's pushing our limits so that we do that meditation that we thought we were too tired to do. It's taking on a little bit of extra work so that we experience some sort of personal pay off in a while. It's not the instant gratification of wrinkly fingers and lavender bubble bath induced relaxation. It's the satisfaction of knowing that the work we do on ourselves today will have far reaching implications in the weeks and months to come. Suddenly, we realise that the opportunity cost we wrote off as well worth it, isn't really worth it all.
If you have a choice between making sure that the kitchen is perfectly sterile or making sure that the person you are tomorrow is better able to contribute to the people around you, I'm pretty sure you won't mind a couple of wet patches on the kitchen counter. By all means, treat yourself to a bubble bath every week, but in the name of all that is holy, please sign up for that course, start those meditations, join that yoga class. Your future self will thank you... so will the people around you.