Whenever people talk or write about self-care it mostly involves “take a bubble bath”, “treat yo self”, “eat that cake”, “read a magazine” but at the core all those tips do not tackle the real self-care.
Because the real self-care requires work and effort (and maybe some money). The core of real self-help are all those uncomfortable things you need to do in order to really feel better. While bubble baths are great and I encourage everyone to treat themselves good on a daily basis it’s not the core. You can take all the bubble baths in the world and still feel crappy because you aren’t tackling the core deep inside of you.
Real self-care involves all those things you keep putting off because you don’t feel like it or just don’t want to. Because real self-care can get scary. When things go tough in the recent past I thought I had it figured out how to take care of myself but none of the tools I used worked and that’s where I knew I knew nothing about real self-care.
Real self-care involves:
If you have issues with your back, headaches every morning or other issues your body is dealing with: GO to the doctors! Whether it’s that dentist appointment you keep putting off or other doctors you need to get checked through. That strange spot on your skin? Get it checked! Once a year I take a whole round of doctors and clear all those check ups I need annually just to have it off my list. I keep putting off going to the doctors simply because I hope it’s nothing but I reached a certain age where things don’t go away easily anymore. My body can’t make up for it anymore like it did 10 years ago. That tinnitus and stress disorder? Get it fixed! It won’t go away with just closing your eyes and wish it away. That’s not how it works. It requires your effort and help from someone who is an expert in it.
I want to include something else in here because sooner or late we enter the darkest time of the year. People suffer from seasonal affective disorders. That’s only normal when your body isn’t exposed to the sun anymore that often and you start to lack Vitamin D. Get that SAD lamp! Yes, it costs money that you will be spending on yourself! Get a humidifier so the air isn’t so dry anymore in your flat or you can put in some essential oils to make you feel better. Some will make you more attentive others help you relax.
Going to the hairdresser is something I keep putting off until I can’t anymore. I have very short hair that needs regularly cuts to look good. Instead of just going there I feel more and more uncomfortable in my body and groan every time I look into the mirror because my hair looks bad. I struggle every day with it instead of just getting it fixed. Whatever you put off whether it’s doing your nails, hair cut or whatever superficial treatment it is: Get it! You have all right in the world to get that done if you know it will make you feel better. Of course it’s a superficial thing. That’s why the next point shouldn’t be left out.
Self-care starts with you and what’s eating you up from the inside. If you can’t deal with it on your own there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. Ask for help! It’s probably the best thing you can do. If there is something on your mind for a long time finally tell someone! Tell your friends with what you are struggling with. If you need mental health care: Get it! It’s so so so important! I cannot urge more people to work on what’s inside of them and to get the necessary help. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to a therapist or a psychiatrist! Actually it’s pretty brave to do so because you realize something needs to be worked on. Many people just shove it away but you can move and run away from your problems all the distances you want. They are always with you! They will never go away. Even if you move to the other end of the world. They are always there. That’s why it’s so important to stop running and face them. Yes, it hurts! Yes, it’s uncomfortable! Yes, it involves time, tears, blood, everything. It’s messy but so important.
Have you ever taken the time to examine why you do certain habits? We get caught up in daily life so quickly that we never stop to question what we really want, what makes us feel happy and what we want to for the future.
We all have things to do in our places that we keep putting off. That closet you wanted to clean out for so long? Do it! That stuff you wanted to sell to accumulate a bit of money? Do it? Wanted to declutter? Do it! Stop putting things off!
They sit in the back of your mind and will remind you every time you pass by them. How long and often do you want to be reminded? How many weeks and months do you want to put them off?
Here is a hint: If you don’t deal with them now they will still be there in the future and guess what? You will have equally less time then because there is always something. Stop putting things off!
Annoyed every single time that it takes so long to find something to dress because your closet it so messy? Clean it up and it will be easier the next morning. (Or wait until your annoyed enough from it because it will still be there)
While I don’t say you shouldn’t get a bubble bath or reward yourself with something there is much more to self-care than it seems on the surface. Take your bubble baths, eat those supplements but in the end there is much much more and if you ignore it further it will come back and probably raise hell. While I don’t believe in “Future-Me” I’ll still say it: Future-You will thank you for it!