People often confuse self-care with selfishness. I won’t lie, I used to be one of them.
I’ve always struggled with self-care. In fact, I still do even as an advocate. It’s always easier to give other people great advice on how to manage their self-care but when, in turn, we look at ourselves, we struggle to follow through with our own damn advice. Why? Well, sometimes we feel guilty ourselves for focusing on what’s best ONLY for us because we tend to associate it with selfishness, probably due to assholes telling us it is (eff them). Regardless, never feel guilty for needing a mental health day. Make time for yourself now because you won’t get that time back.
You see, starting with my own mindset was a big step in overcoming the intensive care I needed for myself. I had to shift my way of thinking, self-care is selfish – NO, it’s not. Our minds need rest and relaxation just as our bodies do. Do you want that delicious slice of cake? Or to buy yourself that really pretty necklace? GET IT, GIRL. It’s okay to take a break, it’s okay to sit in our emotions and feelings and stuff our face with chocolate while binge watching Shameless all day long in your pajamas. Why? Because YOU fucking deserve it.
We are all facing some sort of battle that nobody knows anything about – nobody needs to understand our reasons for or choices of self-care. That’s where I get trapped – I feel like I need to justify why I’m being “lazy”, I shouldn’t have to. Nobody should. Just be you and focus on what’s best for you.
Ask yourself, What makes me happy? Write a list down. Memorize the shit out of it. And when you face a moment of sadness, depression, ANY struggle, OR just because you feel like it – grab that list and choose what would be best for you. Here is a list of things on my self-care list:
- Cuddle with my kids
- Talk to my best friend
- Write/blog about how I’m feeling
- Go for a walk
- Take a social media break
- Take a long shower/bath
- Stay home and miss an event with friends
- Take the day off
- Eat chocolate cake
- Say no (take a step back)
- Buy myself something
- Deep clean my house (yes, this works for me)
- Read a book about how I’m feeling
- Set boundaries
Now, sometimes its incredibly tough to focus on self-care during your toughest times. When I’m in the midst of my depression and haven’t showered in a week or I forget to brush my teeth or I can’t cook a decent meal (if any at all) or I sleep too much (or not enough), I have a list of self-care tips I use to help me as well. I call them “my baby steps” – they have a HUGE impact and they matter. Below are some of my essential no bullshit tips:
Cant work up the energy to have a shower? Use dry shampoo for your hair, baby wipes for your skin, and put on deodorant – you’ll look and feel cleaner.
Too overwhelmed to get groceries or cook food? DoorDash it! or utilize the “pick up” feature at your nearest grocery store and order online. Don’t even need to get out of your car or pajamas!
Can’t sleep at night due to intrusive thoughts? Put on some calming music (I prefer piano or jazz), a sitcom (FRIENDS!!!), a podcast, or a guided meditation app, so you feel more comfortable.
Can’t work up the strength to brush your teeth? Use mouthwash or chew some gum – you’ll notice a difference!
Remember, feeling a “bit better” is the best thing you can do when you are in tough times. You’re a survivor, you’ve been here before and you’ll get through this again. Remember your list and keep moving forward.