“The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably-prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.'”– Amil Niazi
Self-care is often not all gorgeous sunrises and sunsets – in fact, it can leave a very bad taste in your mouth!
It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling distractions your solution.
It is often doing the hardest thing you have to do, like sweat through yet another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time. It is needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some essential oil into a bath and catch up on Soul Stepping in my Flip Flops and turn off your phone for the day.
A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that has become very unhealthy. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal battles, the pressures and self-created drama of our everyday life.
True self-care is not only epsom salt baths and coffee ice cream (yes, that is my favorite) – it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. And that often takes doing the things you least want to do.
It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others, but not at the expense of yourself. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.
It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your existing (but not yet developed or hidden) potential and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.
If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.
It is no longer using your hectic and drama-filled unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of booze and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly helps you attend to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.
It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about yourself and others in a healthy way. It is being honest, even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.
It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that epsom salt baths and coffee ice cream are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.
Take care of yourself – it’s the most important thing you can do.