Self care doesn’t always mean doing something for your present-self. It can mean doing something your future-self will thank you for.
When people think of self-care practices, they usually conjure up ideas of activities they can do in the moment to make themselves feel better. Things like a warm bath, a walk outside in the sun, painting your nails, scrapbooking, calling a friend, or journaling. But to me, self-care can mean something else.
Today I am proposing a different way to think about self-care. Self-care, to me, can mean doing some positive for your future-self. It can mean making a decision in the present that will work towards making you better, happier, healthier, stronger, or more balanced in the future. ALL of our present actions affect our future (whether it’s in the next hour or the next 10 years), so it’s important we make concerted efforts everyday to prioritize the health and well-being of our future-selves.
So what does this all mean? Well, here are some ideas on how you can practice self-care in the present that is meant for your future.
+writing down goals for the day, month, or year
+getting some movement and activity in after a break away from it
+choosing to fill your body with physically nourishing, whole foods
+choosing to fill your body with mentally nourishing, ‘good for the soul’ foods
+going to doctors appointments regularly
+opening up a savings account or starting to invest
+going to bed earlier
+waking up earlier
+forgiving someone you still feel anger towards
+pursuing knowledge and furthering your education in some way (this can help in the present too!)
+carefully choosing who you spend your time with
+reading…prudently and often
+drinking less (alcohol)
+drinking more (water)
+taking your vitamins
+resting now…pushing yourself later
+pushing yourself now…resting later
+smiling…even when you’re not feeling especially joyful
The key to a healthy, happy future is respecting yourself as you are now and as you will be someday. Make decisions that honor your future-self, whoever he or she may be. But don’t live under the assumption that what you do now won’t affect you in the long run. Treat your future-self as a separate entity. Treat him or her like you would a family member or good friend. Care for them, love them, ensure they are set up to live their best possible life.
While it’s important to live in the moment, it’s just as important to plan for the future and be forward thinking. A good mix of BOTH mindsets is crucial for balanced wellness in your day-to-day life.
I know. All of this is easier said than done. In fact, humans have a penchant for preferring “in the moment” rewards versus future benefits. But before you make a decision that ‘feels good’ presently, but may negatively affect your future…stop, think, ask yourself what your future self would think, and redirect your actions towards something positive. You’ll find that respecting your future-self will actually make your present-self happier and healthier too! It’s a win-win for ALL parts of you.
Just some thoughts I’ve been thinking lately. Thanks for indulging my word vomit! 😉
What does self-care mean to you?
Are you more present-minded or forward-thinking?
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