Self care hurts sometimes
Mon, 22 Jul 2019 08:20:25 +0000
I’m not a big fan of self care.
The word itself makes me cringe, but mostly it’s the concept I don’t agree with.
When I hear self care, what I think about is the sad idea that we have to allocate a specific time and place for looking after ourselves, when we should be taking care of ourselves all of the time. We shouldn’t have to remind ourselves to drink more water and eat better and get eight hours of sleep every night.
But the reality is, we get so absorbed in other, seemingly more important activities, that we often forget to complete these basic tasks.
There is, however, a selected caste of people who have been enlightened with the secrets to achieving the perfect state of relaxation: Influencers.
in recent times, Influencers (another term that makes me want to poke my eyeballs out with a fork) have been feeling the urge to show us mere mortals their impeccable self-care routines, so that we, too, can aspire at the Nirvana of pampering and self-indulgence by following a series of simple steps - which, curiously, often seem to involve paid sponsorships.
YouTube is the realm of this new self-care aesthetic, portrayed by super model-looking teenage girls drinking a litre of water the moment they wake up, burning sage, meditating, applying face masks, and taking bubble baths surrounded by incense and candles.
But in reality this self-care aesthetic 1. is not a cookie-cutter strategy that applies to everyone, and 2 . promotes the idea that we have to reach for things outside of ourselves in order to take care of something that in reality needs to be fixed from the inside.
Recently I’ve been listening to the Bobo and Flex podcast.
These two lovely kickass ladies both agreed that for both of them the best self-care strategy is to look inwards rather than outwards.
They explain how self care is an industry, and like every other industry it’s trying to sell us something. We’ll never be told to go for a run or spend some time in nature or to just slow the fuck down and take a moment to dig within ourselves to figure out what we really need to focus on - because these things don’t sell.
Sure, booking a spa appointment or splurging on an expensive eye cream might work for some people. But personally, I feel these are just quick fixes. When I need self care, I want to feel good in the log run.
I’ve been trying to do that a lot recently, and one thing I’ve discovered is that taking care of yourself hurts sometimes.
And yep, I’m talking therapy.
Therapy was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as well as the biggest act of self care I’ve ever taken.
And yes, it’s painful. It never leaves me feeling better straight away. In fact, often times it leaves me shattered and exhausted and emotionally drained, and all I can do for the following two days is lie on the floor and let myself be flooded with thoughts and emotions and - I’m not gonna lie - sometimes panic and tears.
But I know it’s worth it. This is what is going to fix me in the long run. Even if it’s painful and it hurts and sometimes it feels like it’s not going anywhere.
This is what self care looks like to me.
This, and taking myself out on a coffee and reading date, of course.