Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.
It is making a
spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking
yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and
calling the distraction a solution.
It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do,
like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t
want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings
account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not
constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.
world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that
is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are
so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own
relentless internal pressure.
True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.
often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye
and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is
letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is
making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people
won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.
is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes
having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t
going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends.
It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes 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.
act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be
good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably
prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made
from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory
shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning
something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and
sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in
sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.’ – quote via Amil Niazi
you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care,
it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very
little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting
yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.
It is no
longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for
self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning
how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of
yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.
means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring
what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy
to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a
life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can
care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t
universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious
and dependent on other people.
It is becoming the person you know
you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and
chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.