It’s not selfish; it’s self-care

On October 21, 2022, Taylor Swift broke countless hearts with her release of “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” which features the lyrics “You’re on your own, kid / Yeah, you can face this / You’re on your own, kid / You always have been.” Though not always in such an emotional way, everyone is told at some point to learn to love and cherish themselves because while others come and go, you have yourself for the entirety of your life. Of course, self-care is simple to squeeze into one’s schedule when it involves doing a face mask before bed or sleeping in for an extra hour on Saturday or Sunday morning. But it’s clear that in a world with constant pressure to balance education, social life and personal health, self-care is often ignored. As life grows more stressful and complicated, it becomes increasingly important to understand what proper self-care is and how crucial it is for every human being.


From the very beginning of our lives, society tells us that others come first. When grades, sports, and co-curricular activities are added into that mix, personal wellbeing gets forced onto the sidelines. It hardly seems as though even the smallest intervals of personal time can fit in with a bustling life, and this mindset is especially shared by teenagers–although it may not appear that way at first glance. For instance, individuals who do not pour all their time into school work may match that effort in sports, clubs, or spending time with friends and family. All are positive uses of time and energy, and it is always healthy to work your mind, body, and that social bone that all humans share. Nevertheless, the healthiest thing anyone can ever do is put themselves first. When you make yourself a priority, you learn one of the most valuable pieces of information regarding life itself: your own limits. When you are aware of when it is necessary to take a step back and regroup, you only become that much more selfless socially and that much more powerful academically and athletically. 


Sometimes though, the form of self-care calling out to you is purely a reflection of your emotions that day or week, whether it has a specific source or not. For instance, self-care is not limited to merely beauty treatments–although they are equally beneficial. It includes taking a day off of school or from practice because you are just not feeling it or deciding to stay off of social media for a few days because you do not feel like answering. Regardless, it does not mean you are rude or lazy or selfish. It does not mean that relationships, school, or athletics matter any less. It just means that you need a break, and a core idea of self-care, or self-love, is that you deserve one every once in a while. Thus, as Taylor Swift beautifully said, you can face this, and it begins with learning to be comfortable on your own.