Okay so maybe I’m being a little shady with that title. Everyone needs to practice self-care, often and at any age.
I’ve seen a recent shift as concerns the view of what self-care is and why it’s not all face masks and switching off the tv (both of which are excellent forms of self-care if I do say so myself). I’ve seen this shift which now seems to suggest that self-care should involve deep introspect, accountability and awareness of one’s own toxicity- and I fuck with that- heavily.
When I feel out of control, lacking motivation and simply not on top of my game, it’s nice to take a step back from my problems, unwind, relax and regroup. This sometimes means cancelling a gym session and having a meal with a co-worker I can de-stress with or going home after work to watch a movie. The end result is usually a good result, I’m no longer stressed out and I feel like I’ve put myself before anything else.
Sometimes however, when I feel out of control and simply not on top of life, the answer isn’t a face mask or cancelling all responsibilities to meditate in the park. Some days, self-care means doing the painful work of completing a ‘to-do’ list which I have put off for weeks, having a difficult conversation with a friend or family member or cleaning my bathroom because I know that putting it off causes me anxiety.
On a particularly difficult mental health day, self-care can mean not indulging in foods that give me heart burn but rather taking a long walk or beasting a difficult work out. It can sometimes mean confronting the ugly sides of my personality which interfere with my relationships or investing in new work clothes so I can look better doing my job.
It’s not always easy to decipher what type of self-care is necessary to get you out of a funk or even just to enhance day-to-day life. It is important however, to acknowledge that self-care takes on a myriad of personalities – from the concerned auntie who wants you to acknowledge your short comings, to that friend you can kick back, forget the world and enjoy life with.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying “fuck it” and giving your woes the middle finger. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging that self-care for you may mean meal prepping, eating fresh fruit and an early night in.