Yes, I Used the S-Word. And Then Some.
Self-Care: Love It, Hate It, You Know You Need It
Tagged by Yana Bostongirl on the prompt “How do I Self-Care?”
If you threw up a little at the mention of “self-care” — please — just wait, and give me one of your last chances to explain my take on it. Not that I’m an #influencer of any sort, but because I’ve experienced the trifecta of extreme burnout, anxiety, and depression, and may know a thing or two about why the self-c’s are important.
And trust me, I get it: We live in times where the self is exalted (as it rightly should be) and self-prefixed words are in vogue. It can get tiring listening to everyone go on about how they take deep breaths and have weekly Spa Sundays! If it seems like much, it’s because it is.
But beyond the fluff, there’s some real hype there. And I want people to understand that.
Self-care shouldn’t have been “a thing” in the first place
You may not know this or have stopped to think about it, but the expansion of self-care is caring for yourself.
Surprised? I don’t blame you — we’re repeatedly told we have to care for others — their opinions, their needs, their comforts, their ambitions. But doing things for ourselves is self-ish. Self-care is for self-centered people who think too much about themselves and want to Instagram silly things like #alonetime and #solodates.
And so we mock it, “it” being anything we do for ourselves. We downplay it, consider it uncool, and cover up.
Well, at least I did.
In fact, it wasn’t until I was in therapy that I realized I never took care of myself. I put my needs below those of others else around me — my partner, my parents, my dogs, my bosses, their bosses, and so on.
I need to sleep, but first this email. I need to eat, but first, the dogs need to be fed. I’m tired, but so is everyone else. I need to exercise, but I need to sleep first so I can be clear-headed for my 6 a.m meeting. I need to cook, but first, let’s help this friend out. Rinse, repeat, retweet.