I’m inspired this week by some recent articles on how self-care isn’t all bubble baths and chocolate.
VICE famously wrote a piece called “What the Fuck is Self-Care?”
Thought Catalog put it best: “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.”
Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle involves taking care of yourself so that you are energized — not drained, by life. I’m sure everyone has room to work on this.
When you wake up in the morning, and your energy levels are at 100%, you shouldn’t then be going to bed at the end of the day at 0%. You should be coasting at a healthy 75%–100% thoughout the day, always charged or always recharging. I know it’s not always possible on a daily basis, but this target would be the ideal, and there are people who prove it’s possible.
If you’ve designed your lifestyle properly, it’s one that is sustainable.
Take the example of nature, which we can learn a lot from when it comes to the principles of design. Nature is designed to be a self-sustaining ecosystem that does not create byproducts. Nothing goes to waste, and everything gets recycled back into the system to allow other parts to grow and thrive.
The way you lead your life can take notes from how nature runs itself.
Self-care is about building a lifestyle that you don’t need constant breaks from. If you work a job that makes you say, “I need a vacation”, then it’s time for you to look deeper into why you feel this way.
If certain relationships drain you to the point where you have to say, “I can only spend time with x in moderation”, then it’s time for you to revisit why that is. If you’re vibing with the right people for you, healthy relationships energize you.
Sometimes self-care is about setting stronger boundaries — energetic and physical ones — that adequately protect you so you can put forward your best self. If you have trouble saying no to things you want to say no to, then you have some boundary work to do.
If you have trouble with overeating or overspending, this prompts the need for boundary and healthy relationship work as well.
Self-care is being able to confront the things that weigh you down or hold you back. It’s being able to give and being open to receive.
Self-care is about letting go of the things that no longer serve you. Sometimes it’s about getting rid of physical possessions that you no longer need; other times it’s about decluttering your mind.
You’re in no rush. Self-care is about cutting yourself some slack. Stop being so hard on yourself. Be as compassionate with yourself as you are with those you love the most.
Self-care has nothing to do with selfishness. If you’re not your healthiest, happiest self, then what version of you are you putting forward to others?
Self-care is about the ultimate freedom. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes here. But it is time to feel less shitty.
Does this content resonate with you?