Author: Natalie Dobkins
Editor: Alexa Bonsey
Is self care bath bombs and Netflix? Is it girls’ night? Is it going to the gym?
What is self care, and what does it mean to you?
For a really long time I thought that self care was always something glamorous.
Something that was Snapchat or Instagram-worthy — the bottle of wine, cute painted toenails, Netflix and some comfort food with your girlfriends.
I have come to realize that self care isn’t always all glam and Instagram-worthy moments.
My self care has become the total opposite of that.
Ever since I made the switch, I’ve become a happier individual.
Here’s what I mean by “it isn’t always all glam:”
Self care is sometimes:
- Cancelling plans
- Saying “no.”
- Going to bed at 8:00pm
- Pushing yourself to get out of bed and take a shower today
- Making sure that you eat something before 2:00 in the afternoon
- Brushing your hair because you haven’t in two days
- Doing laundry because you are wearing swim bottoms
- Sitting in the shower and letting the water flow over you as you cry
Sometimes, self care is simply realizing it’s okay to not be okay.
If you are anything like me, you hold yourself to high standards. And those high standards can become unrealistic.
The world can quickly envelop and overwhelm us, and sometimes the things that we most need aren’t bath bombs, face masks, wine, girls’ night out, Netflix or junk food.
Sometimes self care is: allowing yourself to break down and cry, remembering to eat something of substance that is nutritious, getting out of bed to take the dogs for a walk.
Self care is ensuring that you are taking care of yourself spiritually, mentally and physically.
While it may seem like self care is giving yourself a “break” or a “free pass,” it can sometimes be the very opposite: confronting the things you have been avoiding.
Maybe you haven’t been checking your grades, even though you are behind on assignments.
But if you checked you would know what you need to aim for on the next exam.
Have you been putting off checking your bank account because the thought of seeing a number gives you anxiety?
Self care is sometimes making sure you know where you stand in life.
Facing the things we want to avoid is a huge part of self care. At least, it has been for me.
So today, if you are still with me and reading, I want you to ask yourself if you have been practicing self care.
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed by life? If you have, maybe allow yourself to break down so you can rebuild.
Have you noticed yourself slipping?
Not taking the trash out, not showering, not buying groceries even though those leftovers are way past questionable?
Go and remedy these things because when you are done, you are going to thank yourself — especially at 1:00am after finishing a research paper when you’re starving but can’t eat a cup of noodles again.
Take a day of self care.
Say “no” to some plans, cancel them if you aren’t feeling it. Take that shower and cry if you have to. Check your grades or your bank account so you at least know where you stand, and don’t have such anxiety every time you swipe your card to buy some food.
Go and buy some healthy food to put in the fridge. Call someone you love because you know you haven’t been keeping up with them like you said you would.