Self-care is a big topic of discussion at the moment; it’s all over people’s blogs, in lifestyle magazines and splashed all over Twitter and Instagram. But what does self-care actually mean? A lot of lifestyle writers take it to mean treating yourself to an early night and a bit of telly after a long, stressful day of work, so that you feel refreshed and ready to do it all again tomorrow. Some say it’s switching off your phone or limiting your social media time over the weekend, so you can take some time for you. And that’s all fine, and it all helps people feel better.
But what about the deeper side of self-care that not many people talk about? What if you can’t be ‘fixed’ by a bubble bath or if a face mask and a good book doesn’t make you feel any better? Self-care means looking after yourself in the long-term too. It means making sure you are okay, not just for a night but for life. It means taking time out to do the important things you have been putting off. It means dragging yourself down to the doctors even though you’re scared of what they might say. It means asking for help and getting yourself counselling when you know you can’t cope alone anymore. It means choosing a smoothie over another big bar of chocolate because you know it’ll make you feel better on the inside, or it means having a proper meal when you just feel like having cereal for dinner for the fifth night in a row.
Self-care means caring for yourself, your body, your health and your mind. It means putting yourself before things that can wait. That doctor’s appointment is more important that being an hour late for work. That counselling session is more important than not taking an afternoon’s holiday.
I’m not saying the bubble baths, Netflix, nail painting or turning off your phone don’t help, because, they do (feeling good in your day – to – day life makes looking after your wellbeing a lot easier) – things like this just shouldn’t be used to trick yourself into pretending you’re looking after yourself and taking time to care for you. If getting up a little later or having a hot bath helps you get up in the morning then that’s great, but if you’re not tackling the problem that causes you to need these things to help you get up in the mornings then one day they won’t help. Self-care means looking deep into yourself and figuring out what you really need and addressing it.
Sometimes, after a long, stressful day at the office all you need is a long hot soak, but sometimes you need much more than that. Sometimes self-care means letting other people help, sometimes it means saying enough is enough and letting go of what makes you miserable, sometimes it means thinking of your future well-being instead of the here and now.
What are your thoughts on the topic of self-care? Do you think this deeper side of self-care needs to be talked about more? Let me know in the comments!
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