I'm putting it out there: I HATE THE WORD 'SELF-CARE'.
I think it's annoying, overused, and frankly... weird. I want to punch it in it's face.
But yet, we're inundated. On social, blogs, publisher content, everywhere. It's like doing something for you has to be justified with a label like we shouldn't be doing it all the time Want to take a bubble bath? #selfcare. In the mood for an indulgent meal? #selfcare. Did you just get a *gasp* manicure/pedicure then grab a latte?
SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE.
I've even seen it extend into these weird rituals like "oil pulling" (swishing oil in your mouth), "tongue scraping" (your tongue) or "dry-brushing" (your legs). Seriously. I do not understand.
HOW IS THAT ENJOYABLE? (Also what even is it? Pls keep it away from me.)
I try to practice common-sense and moderation in everything that I do. I love a cocktail or glass of wine, I indulge with delicious food when the moment calls for it (or doesn't, I'm like a beagle in which I'm highly food-motivated), I love to move my body, I try to make smart choices about what I put in and on it, and I schedule a monthly massage and bi-monthly facial. Because it's lovely and relaxing and... I want to.
I like to think I breathe deeply on my own, you know, to stay alive. I don't feel the need to download a meditation app to feel like I'm taking care of myself. Meditating for me is not relaxing. It's stressful. Then I remember all the things I've already forgotten to do that day. Honestly I just end up thinking about everything but the actual act of meditation. My world record for meditating is approx. 15 seconds.
I don't need to label it or shout from the roof-tops when I'm taking care of me.
The whole idea of 'self-care' has frankly gotten to the point of distraction and over-stimulation vs. having the information to make solid choices that benefit yourself.
So stop. Every time you do something for you, that you want, it doesn't need a label or justification.
Do the best you can. Stop stressing out over what you can't control or that you're not up to snuff with the 'self-care people'. It's not good for you.
Life is busy, and you shouldn't feel guilty for not carving out specifically labeled "self-care time" like soaking in a detoxifying bath for an hour with a face-mask on, some 'serenity candle' and a self-help book.
Taking care of yourself means doing what makes you happy.
Here are some ways to do it:
1. Spend time doing things you like
Like literally anything - spa treatment, calling someone vs. texting, a long walk, hanging with the people you love, hugging a stranger's dog (just me?), cooking/ordering/Postmates-ing your favorite meal. Make you happy? Awesome. Do more of that.
2. Step away from the phone
The comparison trap is a real thing. "Healthy Influencer XXX" may avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and happiness while taking daily detoxifying baths and scraping her tongue with a torturous device and eating milk-thistle-ashwaganda-adaptogenic-mushroom-tea but that doesn't mean she's better than you and it certainly doesn't mean she's happy. Don't like matcha? Same, I abhor it. Drink your non-organic coffee. DO YOU.
Your life doesn't have to be up to 'Instagram standards' and it doesn't have to be some weird health 'trend' that sounds horrifying. You don't have to schedule time to have conversations with yourself about how much you love yourself either.
3. Use your brain
I'm fairly certain we all know things we should be doing for ourselves and things we shouldn't. We should make sure that we have time to rest and relax. We should make sure we eat delicious food and drink amazing wine. We should travel and explore new places, even if that's a walk in the opposite direction you usually take. We should spend time with the ones we care the most about. We shouldn't shell out thousands of dollars on cleanses or health trends.
We shouldn't force ourselves to like or do things we don't enjoy.
So instead of self-care, just take care of yourself.
You with me?