Surprize, surprize! Self-care has been commercialized. Instagram gurus, magazines, and the beauty and wellness industries have bastardized the meaning of self-care; making it about becoming rather than preservation. The practice of self-care has become something we are allowed to indulge in and according to Instagram influencers and advertisements, self-care should feel like an indulgence. From expensive spa appointments and bath products to one-of-a-kind chocolates. We spend more time talking about high thread count sheets than we do about actually getting enough sleep.
Sorry, self-care is NOT an indulgence. Self-care is about discipline. It requires the right mindset, and an understanding of our top priorities. Self-care is, in reality, kind of boring. This is why self-care is a discipline. It takes self-discipline to do the right things that are actually good for us instead of what just feels good. To take full and complete responsibility for our own well-being is a level of discipline that many prefer not to subscribe to.
Some examples of self-care:
- Not staying up late to binge one more episode of something on Netflix because your alarm is going to go off at 5am to get your ass up for the gym
- Declining alcohol at that party or sporting event and realizing that alcohol, weed, etc. are not healthy self-care options; escaping reality does not equal self-care
- Choosing nutrition that aligns with your (or your coaches) goals when it feels like you deserve the indulgence
- Disconnecting from people and places that do you no good. Familiarity breeds attraction
- Not jumping on social media (often political discussions) to get your rocks off with self-righteous anger
- Realizing that it’s okay to let other people take care of themselves
Self-care is not something you do once in awhile when you need a release. It’s something you do every hour, every day, every week, every month. It’s about taking care of yourself in a way that isn’t about bath salts, wine, chocolate cake … rewards. It is about creating a life that you don’t need to escape from. It is about finding or restoring balance. It’s about making commitments to yourself. It’s about a regular practice.
Realize that capitalism has turned self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold. As slick as the marketing can be, don’t buy into it. Proper self-care will improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Be aware of what you do, why you do it, how it feels, and what the outcomes are. Self-care is an activity that we do deliberately with planning in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. While it’s not always going to be fun, it will always be worth it.
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