Okay, hear me out.
I know that everyone and their cousin is touting the importance of self-care.
You’re probably thinking if one more person talks to me about bath bombs or girls nights, I’m going to puke.
You’re a busy, self-starter, career driven (and killing it) lady, and you do deserve to take some self-care time.
But what if self-care wasn’t literally caring directly for yourself?
Dr. Laurie Santos, Yale professor and host of the Happiness Lab podcast, says, “Self-care doesn’t have to be selfish.” I just started listening to her podcast thanks to an amazing interview Dr. Santos did with Jenna Kutcher, the Goaldigger herself, and it really made me realize that maybe we’re missing the true point of self-care.
Dr. Santos says about improving our well-being, “One of the most shocking ones for me is a study looking at how simple interactions with strangers positively affect your well-being,” she said, adding that, even for introverts, “a simple chat with a stranger can make people feel great.”
You can learn more about this here (Association for Psychological Science) or here (this links you to the New York Times).
So self-care may have more positive benefits for us when it involves other people.
In the interview with Jenna Kutcher, Dr. Santos noted (and I’ll strongly paraphrase here) that doing small acts of kindness for others or volunteering helped improve well-being more than doing things just for ourselves.
I’ve started to test this for myself. For me, self-care has been buying dinner for a good friend and getting caught up post-COVID. Also, self-care has been going with a friend to do volunteer work.
That being said, if you’re sick of the same ol’ self-care, then it’s time to shake it up. Find a friend and go volunteer. Help out a neighbor (meet your neighbors, now there’s a challenge). Tell a stranger you like her blouse or hair or smile. Take care of yourself by taking care of others.
And if relationships of any kind are hard for you, book your 30 minute Discovery Call. I’m not just a life transformation coach for women, I can help you in all kinds of relationships or with dating. I’d love to chat with you, as you now know, taking to a stranger can make you feel wonderful.