We all get to that point where we’re tired, overwhelmed and don’t really a give a shite anymore. Sometimes it’s when theres a bunch of deadlines at work, sometimes it’s purely hormonal. So we have a chat with our friend that goes something like this…
Me:”Girl, I am SO tired. S.O.T.I.R.E.D.”
Friend:”Girl, have you been practicing self care?” [Glitter falls from the sky as the word is said]
Me:”Ohmygosh, no – silly me!”
Self care is a buzz word these days. Millennials flipping love self care. But what is it? The definition of self care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Sounds legit but how do we do it? Is there a better way to care care of ourselves?
A quick search of self care routines leads you to over 2 billion results. Type self care into Instagram and you’re in a pool of photos of people with face masks on and rosé in hand. People are serious about this ya’ll. I found a reddit thread where people (mostly women, it appears) discuss their “self care routine.” Some women change their sheets every Monday, some women do a face mask once a week. One woman wrote that she wakes up an hour earlier than everyone else in her house to make sure her day runs smoothly. Another woman wrote “shower beers.” Is that a shower made of beer or a beer you drink in the shower? I’ve had my coffee in the shower before and it wasn’t all that relaxing but who am I to judge?
After looking into this topic more, I realize that a good amount of people have drinking listed as a self care technique. This raises a few questions for me. If self care, by definition, is meant to “protect your well-being” should drinking be allowed to fall into that category? When I think self care, I think yoga, skin care, and a lavender scented bath tub. Can drinking, which is a stressful thing for your body, be used to destress mentally? Or does self care just mean doing what you want to do, and what makes you feel happy in the moment?
Self care, and one’s self care routine is personal. What de-stresses me may not de-stress my friends. Here’s some insight into what I do for my own version of self care. I wake up every work morning about an hour earlier than I need to. I need that time to myself, to drink my coffee, to read (optimistically) or to surf the internet (more realistic). I’ve told my friends about my morning routine, and most of them look at me like I’m crazy. “You’d trade sleep for some quiet coffee and Pinterest?!?!” I actually don’t trade sleep. Sleep is very important to me. Ask any of my friends if I text back past 8:30pm. Nope! Why? Because ya girl’s phone is on airplane mode and my face is in a book, getting ready for a 9:30 bedtime.
Sometimes I browse the racks of Salvation Army on a Saturday morning. There’s something about finding a great deal or a treasure that makes me feel happier. Books are also a huge source of self care for me (many of which I find at the Salvation Army – two birds one stone amirite?!) It can be a nice dinner with my husband or a just a long walk together. Sometimes, it’s a good cup of coffee and a long chat with a friend. A huge part of self care for me is exploration and trips. I find myself when I go to a place that isn’t home, and there’s a lot of value in that for me.
My point is, I don’t have a self care “routine” that I do weekly. I go by feel. I do what I need to do to feel good about myself, so that I can feel good about all aspects of my life and use my energy efficiently. For some people, a routine is what they need. Some people need some wine at the end of the day. Some people would say that a clean kitchen at the end of the day is their form of self care. Self care should be centered around your self, not what looks good on Instagram (although maybe, Instagram is a form of self care for you?) What do you do to take care of yourself? What are your thoughts on the concept of self care?