The talk of eco-anxiety and eco-burnout has been floating around in the sustainable bubble for a while now. In Sweden, research showed that 80 percent of young women suffered from eco-anxiety.
During the safety information on a flight, they tell us to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others. If we do not put our own oxygen mask on first, we risk passing out trying to help others and that just leads to no good for anyone involved. This holds true in other parts of life as well.
For us to lead a fulfilling and sustainable life, and to have energy and time to give to others and to important causes, we need to function well ourselves. So if we want to advocate and inspire towards a more sustainable and ethical world we need to make sure we set out time for rest and recharge.
Self-care looks different for everyone and there is no one size fits all. For some, self-care is a quiet undisturbed day (or even just an hour) at home, away from family or kids. For others, it might be a raging girls night out or a dinner with family. The important thing is to prioritize small things and actions that make YOU feel good. It’s worth noting that needing or wanting to take a break from your “regular” life doesn’t mean you are a bad person. You can love your spouse, child, parent or friend and still crave and need time away to recharge. So don’t ever feel guilty for it.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish, and if anyone ever implies that it is they are wrong. Anxiety, burnout, and depression do not make people feel better nor makes them more productive or efficient. We are generally at our most productive when we are energized and motivated, and when our health is manageable. So if we want to save the world, we need to take care of ourselves too.
Self-care is not selfish. It is a necessity.