Self-care is often a very ugly thing to do.
It is mostly making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine which you can adapt to such as cooking yourself healthy meals and dealing with problems instead of running from them and calling the distraction a solution.
It is most like the ugliest things that you must do, like sweat through a workout, telling a toxic friend that you don’t want to see them anymore, or getting a second job in order to have a savings account, and stop pretending that you’re everything and just accept yourself for who you are. And you must also take mandatory breaks from all basic things in your life and spice it a bit, you can start by dropping some oil into your bath and reading Marie Claire, or even turning your phone off for the day.
A world which allowed for something like self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is actually sick. Self-care shouldn’t be something we go and resort to, because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve and rest from our own relentless internal pressure.
True self-care is not simply just a salt bath or a chocolate cake, it is the choice you make to build a life you don’t feel the urge to escape from.
And that often makes you do the things you enjoy the least.
It often means looking straight at your failures and disappointments in the eye and tries to come up with new strategies. It is not satisfying your immediate desires. It is letting go of the old and choosing the new. It is most disappointing for some people. It is making sacrifices for other human beings. It is living a certain way other people won’t even bother coming close to, so probably you can live in a way that other people can’t.
It is to let yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen or room and deciding that your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be just having a six-pack and keeping up with your fakest friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety originates from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.
This self-care thing had become yet another which is expected from women to be good at. Did use a nice filter for that snap of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Instagram story made from organic hand-poured soy are they shit factory quality? And how can we stop the capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care to something like a product being bought and sold? These are some of the things I wrestle with as I order Domino’s pizza in my sweatpants under guise of ‘being good to myself.’
– quote via Amil Niazi
If you find yourself regularly included in the consumer self-care, it is because you are actually disconnected from the actual self-care, which has very little to do with “spoiling yourself” and a lot to do with being responsible and making choices for your long-term wellness to be happy in the future.
It is to not use your hectic and unreasonable life as a justification for self-sabotage in the form of booze and stalling. It is to actually take care of yourself instead of trying to “fix yourself” …. and maybe finding that taking care lovingly solves a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.
It means being your own hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t just something you are recovering from. It is no longer choosing a lifestyle that looks good from the outside over a lifestyle that actually feels good. It is giving up on some minor goals so you can care about other major ones. It is being honest even if that means being universally hated. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious anymore or dependent on other people.
It is becoming the person you know you want to become and the person you are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are just ways to enjoy life with, not to escape from it.