Self-care has been romanticized with picture perfect hipster-esque instagram posts. With succulents and pastel bath-bombs. With phrases like, “You do you” and “retail therapy” that have become mantras among supporting friends. But I’ve always wondered; is lying around all day and eating pints of ice-cream really the best way to take care of myself? Ice-cream messes up my digestive system, not to mention, the waistband of my pants. When I am truly at the depths of despair, I can understand indulging into some guilty pleasures. But I think self-care is climbing out of the numbing pity party at the bottom of the rut.
When you’ve lost all motivation and will, it’s hard to perform any acts of self-care. At this time even the smallest action that is above lying in a dark stew of stoicism and numbed hurt is considered a success. When you’re overwhelmed, it helps to let go for some time and get lost in the binge-worthy dramas of Netflix. Especially in cases where no action on your part can solve the situation. I have personally spent entire weekends watching old reruns and stuffing chips down my mouth. But I didn’t come out of it feeling any better and my bank account wasn’t looking so good after all the impulse buys. If these actions are anything, they are self-care prep. Because self-care is picking yourself up and swimming back to shore after staying afloat in the sea of negative emotions.
The epitome of self-care is taking control of your surrounding or your attitude in regards to the surrounding.
Self-care is nurturing your body and building a strategy to overcome self-neglect. It’s drinking water and moisturizing your face when you barely have the energy to leave your room. It’s swallowing the bitter pill of taking care of your body by taking a shower and sleeping early. They are small steps but miles ahead of lying in complete darkness. Shopping online and eating chocolates are comforting and they distract from the pain, but they don’t take care of us like building up a sweat to get the endorphin pumping.
Most often the actions that actually help require effort and some motivation. Maybe next time your friend is singing the blues, snuggle in with them for a while but then also go out on a bike ride. Dance around the room or do a mini yoga session. Then address the problem. Talk or write it out and strategize on how to feel better about it. It could entail saying no to certain invites and distancing yourself from toxic behaviors. That is the epitome of self-care. Taking control of your surrounding or your attitude in regards to the surrounding.
Self-care is nurturing your body and building a strategy to overcome self-neglect.
Think of the self-indulging and self-care activities mentioned in the beginning of this article as boosters. If you are adapting retail therapy as an escape from your financial dilemmas, use the good feeling of new buys to propel yourself forward into thinking how to balance the budget. Let lying all day in bed after a messy altercation soothe your hurt long enough to get you back up and confront it. Learn from your patterns and find the best way to care for yourself. The ultimate goal is to acknowledge and approach what hurts and figure out how to fix it. The escapism is cute for a while. But when the “while” is over, actual self care begins.
For more tips on self-care items check out this post.