A Little Something About Self-Care

This article was circulated at a recent group Psychotherapy session I attended. It got my attention as it resonated with me. So here I am bringing it to your attention; just for fun and to see if it might stir up some resonance for you.

 

This Is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths and Chocolate Cake

By Brianna Wiest https://thoughtcatalog.com/?p=797404

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

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 the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through 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 and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. 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 pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing 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. 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 latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

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.’ – quote via Amil Niazi

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 unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor 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 attends 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 others. 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 salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.

14 thoughts on “A Little Something About Self-Care

  1. At first, this seemed like a new perspective, but its’ more like a deeper understanding of things that mostly ring true for me. I think I’m going to need to read this again, and sharing all over. What is easiest for me to understand is the idea of self care as parenting ourselves in a loving, healthy way. I’m so thankful you are doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brianna knocks your socks off … and sometimes that’s just what is needed! Self care is not about spas, soft towels and pandering to physical pleasure. It really is about getting into the nitty gritty of life and taking charge. You are not a victim and can be the hero of your story! If not the hero then an observer of all the characters at play ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a bit intense, but it did challenge me a bit, which is usually a good thing – but certainly not for everybody.

      I feeling pretty good, like I am on the right path, but taking slow steps forward along the way.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Great, slow steps is all we can do right now for sure, life after Covid may look diffferent. I’m not even going to the doctor or therapist. I have immune issues like you and can’t afford to get out. Things are still spiking or to high for me to get out in public. These four walls are small. Brighter days are ahead.

        Like

Leave a Reply to Val Boyko Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s