Five years ago, I answered a special questionnaire (an exercise at work) that provided insight into my emotional reactions, interpersonal patterns, openness to change, and work ethic. I scored "low" on self-indulgence and was labeled as self-denying, stoic, and resistant to temptation. I scored a "very high" on my need to achieve and was listed as ambitious, goal-oriented, and enterprising. When I was asked to share my results with my colleagues who also completed the questionnaire during the exercise, I had to admit that I wasn't surprised.
For most of my life, I viewed self-care as an unnecessary afterthought that felt void of purpose and overindulgent. Especially around the holidays, I found a deep sense of accomplishment in getting things done and was most satisfied with a stocked fridge, perfectly decorated home, empty inbox, and an already completed to-do list. Here are three things I learned.