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!
We have a cat. Or mainly my parents have a cat. Cleopatra, the Siamese. I love her as much as she is distressing. In case you know about siamese cats you know what I’m talking about.
Last week she taught me a lot of things.
Cleopatra gets her dinner as soon as one of us is eating and since we all have different schedules I gave her her plate when I sat down onto the couch with a plate for myself.
While I switched on the TV and grabbed my phone to check social media, Cleopatra dug into her food.
While I was sitting there looking for the right show to watch, checking emails, my plate on my lap, Cleopatra ate without a side glance.
Except at some point I was starring at her until she was done and when she was, she licked her mouth and left.
Until I got to eat my food was cold. That’s how much I distracted myself while my cat doesn’t even know what a distraction is. She just ate. That was her main priority that moment.
Why am I distracting myself then during something so important like eating food? Something that is essential to live.
And THIS is exactly what is wrong with me, everyone else and society.
Ever sat in a restaurant and took a look around you to see how many people are sitting there starring down at their phones instead of JUST appreciating the food or talk to the person who is right in front of them?
I see that every day.
I like Youtube and I like to watch other peoples life but what I see is that those things who are life saving are pushed back a lot. Even while in bed people only care for social media, games or any distraction that they can get instead of JUST focusing on their sleep.
We set our priorities in the total wrong directions in todays society and modern world. Instead of appreciating life we seek distraction because we are trained to do so. We grew into it. I’m the hell sure I wasn’t like this when I was a kid. When I was a kid I had the main priority to eat when it’s dinner time. No TV or toys allowed. Bed was a toy free zone expect for some stuffed plush animals.
Cats don’t know those things. They sleep even if birds or mice dance on the table right next to them. Because when it’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep. They eat and only eat. They walk where they want. They don’t seek distractions. They only seek what is essential to live.
When did we stop to seek and mind our life essentials; make them a priority?
Disclaimer: Be aware swearing and bad words ahead. This is not for you then, Captain America.
Today I’m writing something about a topic I actually don’t want to stick to a certain gender since we are all individuals first and I give a crap about that gender stuff but of course when I was a kid I heard the sentence “Good girls don’t do this or that” often enough. I can simplify this to “Good people don’t do this or that”.
I’m done with this. I’m so done with this.
Yes, being a good person is something everyone should strive for. If people wouldn’t we wouldn’t be living like this now. Probably in anarchy and barbarism. (yeah, exaggeration is my thing) You get what I mean. But my whole life long I was “trained” to be a good person and it only got me overly worrying, judging myself for nothing and compromises.
I have a pretty good example for this fresh from this morning:
I was waiting in front of an office and since it is highly impolite to me to just barge in I waited. And I waited and then I knocked but I didn’t hear anyone call me in. So I waited again. After 10 minutes or so I was done waiting, I knocked again and immediately opened the door. No one was in business so I explained to the office lady that I just wanted to hand something in and leave but that I waited so long because no one was calling me in and the only I answer I got was pretty impolite from her, why I just didn’t come in. I tried to explain myself why I didn’t (hence it’s impolite) but I sold myself short because she didn’t care. So actually I’m the fool because I wanted to be polite. I left the office with a lesson learned.
I tried to explain my good intentions just like always. I did this before and most of the time I fell short. Because people just fucking don’t care for your intentions! What you DO matters.
I’ve had this kind of negotiations my entire life, always explaining myself and selling myself short. Not only because I’m a woman but I still think this plays a part in it. Women are supposed to make compromises and negotiate. That’s just what society expects of us.
I give a crap about gender shit and I’m done explaining myself whenever I say something. I’m done overthinking it.
If you always bend over, the world will make you bend over and over again. (Sorry, for the NSFW reference here)
There is always someone that will feel offended by you and they don’t care for your good intentions or explanation. Safe yourself that energy, time and thoughts. Confidence is sexy and confidence doesn’t negotiate and explain itself. Say things and stand straight to them. No explaining, no side sentence, no “but you know”.
Of course you are not supposed to turn into an A-hole. Empathy is good where it’s needed but not everywhere it is.
Free yourself. Live, not exist.
No, I didn’t get a visit from Sam and Dean Winchester and this is not really about the devil. Oh, well, depends on how you want to put it. You can give people a bazillion of good advices and yet you struggle to follow them yourself. I’m not telling you that I don’t mean what I write. I totally do! But lately life was like a straight out power walk into the devils trap. I struggled, I was lured and I fell.
Sometimes I like to think there is a little demon inside of me rubbing his hands in glee, waiting for me to fall right into his claws. And oh boy, he’s a bitch! Laughing at me and yet life isn’t black and white. Yes, you are going to feel your great self, everything goes smooth, you only have the best intentions and then you will feel like your worst self.
Life isn’t a constant line of “being saint” (Sorry, couldn’t find a more fitting word).
Life is about being human and being human has it’s ups and downs. Don’t feel bad for it. Don’t beat yourself up for it. You can’t outrun the devils trap, but you can walk away one step at a time.
„We buy things to fill our empty holes“ –
Caroline Channing, 2 broke girls
There is something about TV shows that you can find truths in it. I love 2 broke girls. It’s just somehow so inspiring that someone has lost everything but doesn’t sit around and cry. No, Caroline Channing doesn’t give up. She looks for every opportunity she can find. May sound desperate to others, for me it’s just inspiring.
This particular Christmas episode has struck me the most true. We DO buy things to fill our empty holes inside of us. BAM! You may disagree with me, but I don’t care. I know it’s the truth because I have felt that way. I have bought things to make me feel better. (Economy, you are welcome)
I bought food to make me feel better. I bought clothes and jewelry to make me feel better. I bought video games to make me feel better. The hell name anything you want. Did I really need those things in the first place? Of course not!
We live in an overflowing society where people buy 10 books a week just to read none of them and have a hundred of them at home anyway. We have so much that we want more. It’s like crack to us. We have enough clothes but still want more and the latest fashion. We have enough furniture but continue to buy more. We have enough video games but we continue to buy new ones. I’m a 100% sure every gamer has games he/she hasn’t completed. The pile of shame.
We live in a society where everything is just a click or a credit card away. It’s just so easy and yet we barely take a look and appreciate the things we already have. Instead we continue to buy more stuff to shove it down the empty hole. Materialistic things make us happy for a small time slot until we need more.
But what does truly fill this empty hole anyway? What makes it stop being empty and close down a bit?
I’d say this is an individual thing but writing this, love is the only answer that comes up to me. Love for others. Love for myself. If you are truly satisfied, content and happy with yourself then you have no need to shove something down the empty hole. You realize that everything you need is already inside of you, not the clutter around you. Uh, sounds highly esoteric right? Yeah it freaking does but this is my truth. Of course I still buy things but I hate clutter more then I like those things so I revaluate a lot before I buy something and more than often I look at the stuff I already have or use something I haven’t used for a long long time. (Nostalgic playing old video games or reread a book I loved years ago)
You don’t need more of everything. You need less of a lot. You are more than enough.
In todays society you seem to a have need for having it all. You need a great job, kids, a big house, traveling to foreign countrys but still know every new hip thing and read every new book. Multiasking is great but with it comes great responsiblity. (That’s the most lame pun ever here. Sorry for that)
When I started to study the subject I did my bachelor in I thought it was great to have widespread skills. The subject was a hybrid between journalism, engeenring and marketing/PR and I thought people must demand that major a lot. I was never so wrong. After I graduadeted from college I applied to hundreds of jobs but no one wanted me nor wanted to pay me (but that’s a different story). To be a know-it-all is not such kind of a benefit than you might think. I thought I need to know it all but that didn’t only go wrong it also drained everything.
To be an expert in a certain field is much more beneficial!
The same goes with restaurants. Going to a chinese restaurant that also sells burgers? Oh, boy, don’t bother to try those burgers nor the fries.
If you are a specialist or an expert in certain field you REALLY know your stuff because you don’t have the need to know everything in more fields.
There is no know-it-all. No one knows everything! Absolutely no one.
And it’s okay not to know everything! And it’s okay not to own everything!
And it’s okay not to follow every trend! And it’s okay not to go everywhere!
Who determines what you have to know and do anyway?
The answer is quite shallow: No one.
The same goes for hobbies. Oh, well, I have pursued a lot of them. A lot, a lot but I never aimed to be really, really good in one of them. I learned an instrument, I put it off. I pursed art, I put it off. I played video games for the majority of my life, not anymore. I rode horses, I (sadly) had to put it off.
The fact is: You don’t need to do everything. It’s great to try things out. Gives you more experience but you can’t do it all at the same time the same amount you want to. The day only has 24 hours and you have even less energy than that.
I always wanted to do it all in one day: Play video games for hours, read pages to no end and write a glory novel everyday. This actually makes me laugh.
We all want everything. We want it all!
But it’s okay if we don’t get it.
And sometimes it’s just right to do just one thing at a time!
Let me tell you about my pet peeve. Some certain things need to be special in my life. Every time I buy a book I wrap it as a present until I have the time to read it. Because of most of the time I already read a book but still buy new ones. Then I think “I’ll open it up until I have really time ahead to read”. The same went for videogames. But truth is the right time never comes and I wasn’t reading as much as I could have. Because I waited. I know this is weird but I put a lot of value onto books. It took me a long time to buy an eBook but I know what really matters is the content, not the way it is printed on paper or digital.
The same goes for working out. Wanna do sports? Yeah, you are just waiting for the moment when you will have enough time or money, or new moon, or sunshine, or when nothing good is on TV. But honestly? You are going to wait forever and put it off and off, because the right time will never come. Do whatever you want to whatever time.
Wanna start a business? You could wait another year or two just because you think the time is not right yet. Are you sure you aren’t going to wait another year after that?
Wanna learn a language? Start now, not when you retire because, you know, maybe you are never going to retire.
Now is always the best time to do whatever you wanted to do and pass off.
It’s now or never anyway!
Happiness is something so powerful and valuable that everyone seems to want it in their life.
“I just want to lead a happy life”
“I want to be happy to no end”
“I want to see happiness every day”
But guess what: Happiness doesn’t come easy.
Everyone just wants to be happy and this is fine but no one wants to actually work for it. Happiness is something you have to do something for. You have to actively choose it and achieve it.
But why? Actually happiness isn’t something we should strive for. It’s a temporary feeling that comes and goes whenever it wants, mostly not when we want it to. If you want happiness to come easy then you could also wish for a unicorn to show up. It will never happen.
What we really should strive for is contentment. Doesn’t sound as great as happiness, right? But if we are honest to ourselves contentment is what we really want. We just didn’t know the word.
We put far too much credit into such a temporary feeling like happiness. Do you rather be happy a few times in your life or be really content and satisfied with it every day?
That’s why I don’t understand when people ask “Are you happy?”.
Why don’t you ask if I am satisfied?
Satisfaction and contentment are so far stronger than a glimpse of happiness. It’s easier to achieve as well.
You have to work for real happiness. It’s not gonna fall into your lap while sitting here and waiting. Until you achieve happiness why not try to be really satisfied with your life? It’s a far stronger state and can be a good drive.
To achieve satisfaction you actively need to open your mind every single freaking day. See the great things in a few sun rays, in the birds chirping, knowing you’re alive and (hopefully) healthy. Open your mind to the great smell of your morning coffee and acknowledge the taste knowing that you are able to have one, that you can afford one. Then you’ll see what you gain is not happiness; it’s true satisfaction.
Far, far more valuable then happiness.
Because happiness is a unicorn.
Sometimes I just can’t be a good person and the world still goes round. Sometimes I just can’t walk the extra mile to really brush my teeth two times a day, cook fresh at home or smile.
Sometimes I just can’t and it’s totally fine.
Everyone of us has good and bad days. Once in a while we end up where all parts of life become work and not living. All those chores become dreadful. Those day when you just can’t get up from the couch and order pizza instead of cooking fresh because you just can’t and don’t want to else wise.
I try to be as disciplined with my habits as I can, but sometimes I just can’t. I just can’t smile much enough at the costumer or the cashier. On some days I just can’t as much as I used to or want to.
When you are really exhausted mentally and physically you don’t have to force yourself to walk the extra mile, because if you always give a 100%; one day you’ll find yourself with 0% left.
(And sometimes I just like to be bad!)
What else comes with being human is that we lose sight of what or who is really important to us sometimes.
Recently life went all busy; lots of things to do at different places and life itself just speed up. A current tragedy that happened to a real dear friend of mine reminded me of how precious life and other people are and how we all lose sight of it in everyday bizz and buzz.
When was the last time you told someone close what they mean to you?
When was the last time you showed them your gratitude?
When was the last time you realized how short life is and the ways you sometimes waste it aren’t good for you?
We all like to do nothing once in a while and that’s completely fine but as it gets more and more frequent we lose sight of what we actually should do and just procrastinate it. We rather spend some more minutes on social media, brainless watching TV or browse through Google images the bazillions of time that day instead of doing what is really important to us.
We think: “Well, those five more minutes don’t make a difference. Just those five more minutes.” But even those five more minutes are precious and they add up quickly and then we look back and regret that wasted time. And the worst thing: We just repeat it.
Somewhere I read the words: “You will not regret the time you spend on your skills and passions but you will always regret the time you wasted on meaningless things.”
No matter how much or less time it will be you put on your skills/passions/dear people. A half an hour is still a half an hour.
Will you rather regret having breakfast with your mom or the time you spend eating alone browsing facebook in the morning?
Will you regret that hour of reading a good book or meaningless refreshing facebook every five seconds?
And yet we all turn towards those meaningless things because we are not aware of that current moment that is now.
Change it! Now is the best moment to start, continue or end something; because life is always
During a booze filled night last weekend I had a disclosure. I sat at my desk and was sad about that my life wasn’t a perfect line as I always imagined it to be and then I realized how dumb that was. It took me one year after my final exams until I went to college and now I will study again in October after another year of unsuccessfully finding a job. Yes, I’m about to get my second Bachelor degree. I have a part time job and I’m going to move this year. In reflect now my sadness was entirely dumb.
Life is never a straight line.
It’s a rollercoaster with ups, downs, bumps and sometimes your cart gets derailed.
Life is never a Pinterest board and I’m not that tumblr-girl with fab abs and huge boobs and I’m totally glad about that.
If life would be a straight line and easy there would be no point in telling other people about it. It would be the same to everyone. It wouldn’t be exciting anymore.
Is that why we like to watch slice-of-life-drama shows on TV? Because we can identify with the characters difficult lives? Because it’s nice to watch someone else fall flat on their noses in life?
Exactly because of!
And yet there is so much we can learn from those shows.
(Sometimes it’s even nice to see someone else taking out the trash bin and talking to their neighbours 😉 )
Sometimes I think:
“What if I hadn’t quit art? I could be a tattoo artist now and maybe a good one”
“What if I would have been better at school? I could have studied something else”
“What if that car had hit me when I was 18 and running across the street?” (Yeah, that’s bollocks I know)
I detest to think about the “what if”s of the past, but what I can think about are the “what if”s of today: What if I choose to practice my skills today? Then I will be one step forward.
Don’t think about the regrets of the past, love your life now and start to enjoy the bumpy ride. That doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. Actually it might make you happier and more experienced.
Because only crows fly straight in a perfect line!