S E L F-C A R E.
It’s something we hear a lot these days. I read an article about this the other day, and it struck a nerve. It got me thinking about what self-care really is, and why we need it. Not only once in a while, but every single day of our lives.
What is self-care? Well, when you think of self-care, you immediately think of warm, candle-lit baths, or indulging in something you love, or taking a vacation, or finally booking that spa day. Kind of like escaping real life so that we can mentally take care of ourselves. But isn’t self-care MUCH more than “escaping” our everyday, exhausting life?
Why are we getting to a point of exhaustion where self-care ends up being an escape? Why aren’t we taking care of ourselves everyday so that we don’t need to escape? We should be going on vacations or spa days to ENJOY life, not escape it. I’m also sorry for saying ‘ESCAPE’ 93472835 times…
Don’t get me wrong – a spa day or a vacation sounds amazing, and I’ll take that any day. But that’s because I love to travel and experience different cultures, not “get away” from life. I feel like most people indulge in these things to try and get away from their life. They hate work, so they take a sick day and self-care by eating pizza on the couch and binging 9 hours of Netflix. That’s not self-care my friends. Self-care is hitting up the gym (even when you don’t want to), making a healthy meal (even though pizza is on your mind), taking a nap to ease your mind and relax your eyes from too much screen-time (even though you want to binge Grey’s Anatomy).
“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.” – Thought Catalogue.
So, what do we need to be doing everyday to achieve this self-care?
Maybe it’s looking at your social media and not having the perfect feed. (GUILTY!) We are so absorbed with social media these days that we are indulging in consumer self-care. We are worried that people will look at our feeds and not like them. We are afraid that we’ll get judged if we use the wrong filter. Can we just forget what everyone else is thinking for a second and focus on what WE want? Self-care is not giving a fuck about what others think. It’s about doing what YOU want and what’s right for you.
Maybe self-care is looking at your finances and deciding that you need to make some major changes. You know, before you end up broke. Self-care isn’t necessarily all good. It’s about making uncomfortable decisions for a better future. If you keep brushing away your financial statements and living paycheck to paycheck, you will continue to live like that…forever. Self-care is looking at those statements and realizing you need to budget. Or maybe it’s getting a second job. Or starting to make coffee at home to save that extra change. It’s whatever you decide you need to do to start saving. Because self-care is looking ahead into the future.
Maybe self-care finally accepting that you need to lose weight and start making home-cooked meals everyday and watching what you eat. Like, instead of treating yourself, you make choices in life that are good for your long-term well-being. Maybe it’s waking up extra early to hit the gym. Or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or making those green smoothies every morning. All these choices affect your long-term health. If you’re lazy now, you’ll be lazy forever. Stop binge eating. That’s no good for anyone. Yes, the idea of sitting on the couch with a large pizza and an entire bottle of wine, watching 9 hours of Netflix MAY sound like heaven, but the reality is, you’ll end up feeling like shit. Not only because you’ve just eaten a large pizza, and consumed way too much alcohol, but also because you’ve been sitting for 9 hours and that’s terrible for your body! I get that it’s not a daily thing you do, however, why do it at all? To live your best life? UM NO. Because you’re slowly deteriorating this way. Instead, have a couple slices of pizza, a glass (or two) of wine, and maybe 2 hours of Netflix. This way you’re still getting in ALL the fun stuff, and not killing yourself in the process. SELF-CARE.
Maybe self-care is finally telling that negative friend in your life that you no longer want to be friends. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but that’s what self-care is. Why are you hanging on? You know they are no good. They aren’t contributing to anything positive in your life, so why not let that go? It’s never a good feeling to end a friendship. I’ve done it. Twice, actually. It’s all kinds of emotions. Sad, confused, relived, you second guess your decision. But give it time, you’ll realize you’re better off without that person. Self-care is appreciating the real friends you have and making sure you spend time with people who matter.
Maybe self-care is acknowledging anxiety/depression and figuring out what you need to do to get better. Maybe that’s getting professional help, maybe that’s being alone for sometime, or maybe that’s being around people who understand where you’re coming from. It’s not running from your anxiety or depression, because if you do that, it will come back. Instead, it’s facing it head on, and coping with it so that you get better. THAT is self-care.
What I’ve learned is that self-care is looking slightly (not too much) into the future. It’s being able to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything. It’s working on a life that you don’t have to escape from. It’s enjoying things like warm, candle-lit bath instead of using it as an escape. It’s choosing a life that feels good over looking good.
Start self-caring now. Don’t wait another day. You’re too important to wait for one more day to pass. Cool? K – get to it.
And on another note, let’s talk about this mustard coat for like ONE SECOND. Because it’s too cute not to notice, right? It’s got that 80s vibe to it, and I’m ALLLL for that. It’s been around that -2 weather lately, and I’ve been wearing this coat everyday. Let’s just say, I’m fucking freezing in it. This coat is more appropriate for that +14 degree kind of weather. I just couldn’t wait any longer.
Also – dress over jeans. Yeah, I’m into it. It just happened, what can I say? I really wasn’t going to shoot this LBD on it’s own in -2 weather. EFF THAT. So I threw it over these jeans and actually liked the look. Loving the plungy neck line on this dress too. Super flirty and sexy.
Ok, I’m off to have a cup of hot water & lemon while I watch ONE episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and get 8 hours of sleep. Self-care WHAT UP!
Photography by Victoria Jmourko