October 20th, 2021 by Kelly Kienzle
I don’t like the phrase, “self-care.” Self-care sounds indulgent, pampered, lazy, and literally selfish. The phrase “self-care” makes me think of a privileged life and pedicures.
And yet that is not at all how I regard the ways in which I take care of myself. I take care of myself because I want to show up as good as possible for the benefit of others. I spend time exercising, taking breaks, and getting extra sleep when I know I need to be my best that day.
The Consequences of Not
For example, if I skip exercise, over-schedule myself, and stay up late, then I am doing a disservice to my clients and my family the next day. I will not be able to be open, patient, or positive when I’m around them and trying to help them.
In other words, I take time for a long breakfast, read a book that amuses me (currently, that’s Dolly Parton’s autobiography – – so hilariously inspiring), and go to bed by 10:30, so I can have a good coaching session the next day and be a fun, supportive mom and wife as well.
It’s not at all selfish or indulgent. Yes, I am doing these things for myself. But just as much, I do them for everyone else in my life.
Reframing as Care for Others
So I am renaming “self-care” as “uber-care”. Uber refers to the Greek word for something that connects all pieces, over and beyond, into one larger system. I am practicing uber-care when I take care of myself. Because caring for myself leads to me caring better for all others in my life.
Take a look at the woman in the photo above. She is giving herself a hug, which enables her to smile to someone off-camera. She is taking care of herself so she can take care of and extend support to others.
Here’s the reframing: What would you love to do today to take care of yourself? If you did that thing, how would it be in service to someone else? How would they benefit, if you took the time to practice uber-care?
When you question or worry on whether you should take that time for yourself, consider who else would benefit if you did.
Make Life Less Difficult
I talk about uber-care as a guest on Lisa Hope Tilstra’s podcast, “Make Life Less Difficult”, as well as my thoughts on why it’s hard to talk about marital problems, my father’s transition to death this year, and the long bet of choices we make as parents. You can listen to the podcast here to learn our views on how we can make life less difficult.