The idea of “self-care” have been thrown around a lot. It’s so easy to say “oh you know, you just need to practice self-care!” Everyone has their own idea about self-care, and you know, personally I think that makes sense. Self-care won’t be the same for everyone. People enjoy and need different things in your life.
I recommend taking a moment to think of the past week. Now when were you at your happiest or most content? When did you the feel the unhappiest? What tasks did you need to complete?
There are things we need to do because of adult responsibilities. There are things we do because we think we need or should do them. Then there are things we do because we chose to do them.
There are some things we need to do every day to take care of ourselves. One can be medication. I personally have to take medication every day. I also try to write down something good that happened every day and put it in a jar. What are some routines you have every day that help you? Or something that you should start doing every day? My brother drinks a glass of water with lemon every morning. That helps him. Sometimes self-care looks like pleasure and other times it looks like hard work. It is just as important for yourself to pay your bills and get groceries while also having a dance party by yourself in your underwear. Sometimes it can look like eating a healthy snack when you need energy other times it is eating a pint of ice cream for comfort. Sometimes it can be staying in reading and drinking tea other times it’s meeting friends at a bar or at their house.
It’s about taking the time to look at your whole self. Mind and body and home. Looking on the outside and looking on the side. It can be different things at different times.
I have shared my list of wellness tools and my anxiety and depression toolbox. All of these are part of my self-care but it is not complete. I have to take my medication. I have to pay my bills. I have to do work for grad school. I have to put gas in my car. I have to clean my apartment. These are not necessarily “fun” or “pleasurable” activities to do, but they mean something to my life. If I don’t do these things, that I will not stay well.
Self-care is important and should be a priority. It is not a one-size fit all activity. With pleasurable activities…Not every person enjoys yoga, running or rock climbing. Not every person likes candles. Not every person (like me) enjoys taking a bath. Then with life activities… Not every person needs to take medication every day. Not every person needs to grocery shop every week. Not every person has a car they need to take care of. Some people need to think of their children or families, others just have themselves. Other people have to feed and take of pets.
Self-care is hard at times. Sometimes it means saying no and other times it means saying yes. It does involve looking at your life and seeing the things you need and want to do. Taking care of yourself should be a priority, but it’s not always fun.