Self-care has become a buzzword being thrown around being used as a synonym for pampering yourself. With many putting on their facemasks (the skincare kind) holding their glass of wine and preaching ~ self-care Sunday ~.
If you feel called out, I’m sorry, I just want to emphasize how self-care has taken over the persona of being fluffy and easy. Now don’t get me wrong sometimes it is, sometimes we all need to spend a little extra time and give ourselves some TLC. However, that’s just the surface of it and we could all benefit by going a little deeper.
Self-care is super personal, so my use of the words hard vs easy are a bit arbitrary because what one person views as hard might be a walk in the park for you. When using the word ‘Hard’ it’s just referring to the mental work you are doing to become the best version of yourself. While the word ‘easy’ is referring to the regular maintenance your body needs.
‘Easy’ self-care: Skincare, showering, eating healthy meals, sleeping regularly, being physically active, social interactions, laughing
‘Hard’ self-care: Journaling, mediation, thought work, therapy, confronting yourself and your beliefs, coping mechanisms
Working both into your routine is going to give you a well-rounded regime for both your mental and physical health. If you’re looking for a break because you’re burnt out from having a long work week, you probably would benefit from a bubble bath and a glass of wine or maybe just a good sleep.
However, if you are healing from trauma, or dealing with continuous stress in your life you may need something more. Learning to identify when you need a top-up is a process all on its own, after all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Things you should put in your self-care routine
- Saying NO — saying no is the ultimate source of self-love
- Setting boundaries
- Finding a way to be active that you enjoy — key word being enjoy
- Keeping up to date with dentist and doctor visits
- Make sleeping a priority
- Everyday maintenance as part of your routine such as skincare, body care, and hygiene practices
- Mental health check-ins with yourself
If self-care is so simple why don’t we all do it?
First of all, a lot of negative feelings and emotions surround self-care, not to mention the stigma associated with mental health. Shame and guilt are commonly connected to self-care, we live in a society where taking time to oneself is seen as selfish or at least we interpret it that way. Whether it’s thinking you don’t deserve compassion from yourself or feeling guilty about not doing what you know is best for yourself. Addressing the negative feelings, you have towards yourself is an aspect of self-care you may also need to tackle.
Doing things that make you look at what you’ve been avoiding can be a difficult experience, like therapy. Some things can’t be fixed from the surface and with this, comes a lot of resistance, the term ‘things are going to get a lot worse before they get better’ comes to mind. Digging deep into your mind can be terrifying, and challenging the beliefs you’ve held onto your whole life is enough to make anyone quit.
Seeing where you were wrong in the past, to yourself and to others doesn’t normally come with warm and fuzzy feelings. But once you get to this part you are reaching gold, you now have the opportunity to grow and change. The beauty of self-care is it’s coming from a place of love, not from a place of not being good enough.
The hope for the future
The image of mental health is changing, it’s now becoming more openly talked about without the negative connotations. Now we just have to tackle the idea that you need to bleed yourself dry to be considered a valuable member of society.
We all need breaks, we all need help and if you’re going to give your everything to everyone else, you have to make sure there is something there to give. Whatever gets you to make yourself a priority is a win in my book.