But this post kind of indirectly called me out on my shit, and I balked at first but I appreciate the reality check. Also the information in it is EXTREMELY useful advice for self-care in the moments where we really desperately need it. Personally, I've always struggled to remember to take care of myself in the moments where I desperately need it. I've posted about small tips and tricks that have helped me out with this, but this post is exactly what I've been looking for. If you value my opinions at all, it's worth taking a look yourself.
So let's talk simply, and honestly about some of the realities of self-care.
Self-care isn’t always glamorous
|via CreateHER Stock Imaging|
Self-care does not always look like the #selfcare tag on Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram. It's not always the kind of thing you want to show people, or even talk about. It can be those things, and that's fun and beautiful and worth sharing but that's not an everyday thing. Sometimes self-care is peeling yourself out of bed after lying in it for days on end, it's realising you haven't taken care of your personal hygiene in, oh god who knows how long, and maybe brushing your teeth but not taking a shower because you can't quite face that yet but feeling proud because you've made progress. Sometimes self-care is crying, and never knowing when it's going to stop, and once it finally does you feel ragged and empty but you're lighter, and that's at least something.
Harmful behaviours don’t count
It's a little bit jarring to see people bowing to their vices, stumbling on their journey to a healthier body and mind, and calling it "self-care" when all the arduous work you've been doing quitting smoking or going to the gym or learning to budget is the actual self-care. I fall into this trap a lot, where I'll "treat" myself to unhealthy food or shopping to make myself feel better if I have a bad day, when a much healthier thing to do is work through those emotions, or give myself some time to scream and cry and fall apart so I can keep going with the rest of my day.
Self-care doesn’t always feel good
Meditation doesn't cure everythingFor some people, meditation helps them with anger management. Personally, I'd laugh in someone's face if they told me to meditate when I'm feeling angry. I might punch someone in the face if they told me to meditate while I'm having a panic attack, because I need help NOW and not after weeks of practice. Yet still, I meditate because if a panic attack is me at a 20, meditation helps me move down from an eight to a two, it helps me sleep, and it helps me focus my thoughts, and through focusing my thoughts I'm able to understand myself more easily. It sounds crazy, because how could someone not understand themselves, but when your thoughts are nothing but jumbled, disorganised noises and intrusive thoughts it's hard to wade through all of that and figure out what is actually going on with yourself emotionally. That said, medication does a better job of that than meditation. Walks, exercise, writing, so many other things might work for you and that's fine. One size fits all doesn't work when it comes to mental health.
No one can dictate what your self-care looks like but you
My blog, tumblr posts, articles, think pieces, YouTube videos...all of it is suggestions, all of it is full of biases, and none of it is tailor made to you specifically. All of these avenues exist so you have options, different methods that you can mix and match until you find the things that work best for you. Most of all, if none of the things I talk about in my blog have ever worked for you I don't want that you to make you feel like you're beyond help. You just haven't found your coping method yet, and that's fine.