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Self-Care: Be Generous To Yourself 

By Rachel Miles 

My request is simple.

Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. 

This idea is fairly simple but not easy for most of us. I, personally, thrive on feeling as though I have been productive at the end of my day, so I occasionally I go overboard. I’ve had to learn from my mistakes and take time for myself and my well-being.

I recently went to get a massage, and the knots in my neck and back were overwhelming. They could hardly be worked out in an hour. I had known this was a problem for quite some time but pushed through the pain, despite the fact that the discomfort was affecting my overall happiness. 

I didn’t go sooner because of the usual reasons: too much work to do, not enough time, too much of an expense, the “I don’t really need this” mentality. 

But I finally decided to be generous with myself. 

I decided to get massages on at least a monthly basis for the next year. This ended up being an important decision in increasing my overall health and productivity. 

In making the decision, I considered this: if I don’t take care of myself now, my body will most definitely suffer in the future. And, honestly, it was a relief to be generous to myself. 

And it increased my productivity. After simply making the decision to get regular massages, despite some expense, I was in a much better mood overall. I didn’t feel perturbed about doing certain tasks, at work or at home. 

I used to perceive getting a massage as unnecessary pampering and feel bad about it, but that is not the case anymore.

I now choose to take care of myself and my body, as generously as I can.


Truly reflect on what gives you enjoyment. I realize massages might not be an option for everyone, (although there are medically coded massage places and/or spas that will allow you to pay for treatment with a Health Savings Account, if you have one), but there are other options. Going to a coffee shop alone and reading a book without any interruption might be a simple and wonderful option. Or going for a bike ride. Or going to see a counselor. 

Deep down, everyone knows what they need in their life, and for whatever reason, we often push away these thoughts and pretend we don’t need it.  

But you will feel more positively about being generous with yourself. And that positive energy leads to your time spent on tasks and projects being more productive – all it takes is a small act of kindness to your mind, body, and spirit. 

Rachel Miles is a digital scholarship librarian and dedicates most of her energy to finding ways to help make research and scholarly works freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. If she ever has spare time, painting, sewing, and dance are her go-to hobbies.

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