Maybe one of the biggest buzzwords of 2019, followed by gluten, veganism, and brexit. *insert eye roll emoji* I cannot help but think the constant air time these topics receive in the media add a extra heap of pressure. Being gluten isn’t just for those with intolerances but glorified as a ‘diet’ (I’ll add her gluten food is in fact full of rubbish - avoid it as often as possible) being vegan isn’t about bettering your health and saving the environment but the closest nob head trying to flaw you beliefs, and well brexit… we wont even go into that one. I guess my main point is when did it all get so complicated. Self-care is mean’t to be an enjoyable and pleasurable experience which one undertakes to refresh, recharge and regenerate themselves, however it seems our society is spoon feeding us self-care at every given chance. I hold my hands up and say I give up self-care, or at least on the media’s idea of self-care. It is unachievable, unattainable and quite frankly ruining my bank balance (seriously, who can afford £3 moisture masks everyday?). The activity that is meant to bring calm and peace is in fact stressing me the fuck out (excuse my french). Whilst it is great we are all realising we are too busy, and in turn need to stop and appoint self-care for how wonderful it can be. Where is the line drawn between self-care and marketing manipulation.
Self-care / Noun.
The practice of taking regular action to preserve or improve one's own health.
The key word most people would pick up on here is ‘regular’. Self-care practices are something which we are advised to schedule into our days often, and by often I mean 28479 times a day (according to social medias standards anyway). I was having a conversation with a friend Eden a few weeks ago and we were discussing how unattainable the self-care routines which online influencers post. It seems if you can’t get up at 5am and go for a run, drink 4 glasses of water and cook your favourite breakfast then you may as well skip your mid-morning breathing exercises, your drive home podcast, your evening bath and finishing the next chapter of your book. Better yet cancel the whole day. Dramatic maybe, but this is exactly what influencers are sharing as attainable (f.y.i it is not - I have tried it). Self-care can be snoozing your alarm and skipping your AM workout for an extra 20 in bed. It can be missing the gym for a bath. It can be watching tv instead of a book. It can be canceling plans with friends because you really don’t have time. Do not let social media define what self-care is. Rather than focusing the ‘regular’ of how often you should be practicing self-care focus on the world SELF. You know yourself better than anyone else, therefor you know what actions and practices are right for you, your body, your schedule and your mentality.
On that note, not to complicate things or contradict the previous statement, but there are 5 different dimensions to self-care which are pretty useful to know about, and great for making self-care more simple, accessible and enjoyable. Self-care in its most original format.
Physical self-care is exactly that; your physical attributes. This can range from your fitness routine to your sleeping habits, from when your last dental check-up was right down to sexual health.
Intellectual self-care focuses on your personal growth. Education, engaging in new activities, practicing mindfulness and exploring new mindsets. It can be a thriving element of self-care that you have the desire to constantly work on and expand.
Your social self-care revolves around the supportive network you have in place that you can turn to when you need guidance or cheering up. This helps bring a sense of connection and belonging.
Spirituality focuses on your beliefs and values that sub-sub-consciously guide you and your values forward. This self-care nourishes the soul and seeks understanding and acceptance.
5. Emotional self-care may be the most important of all 5. Being aware of your emotions and dealing with them accordingly can be difficult, so having a sense of compassion, care, kindness and love for yourself like you would a friend.
Remember, self-care routine is about you; not your favourite influencer, not your glossy magazine and not your best friend. Explore your own schedule and fall in love with the realistic approach to self care. I will add here I ate 1/2 a bag of hotel chocolate coating brazil nuts whilst writing this.. man i love this REAL self-care stuff.