Self care is all the rage. I’m here for it, ya’ll. But all too often we’re told that self care is drowning our sorrows in our favorite beverage and taking a long, hot bubble bath with fragrant candles surrounding us while we try not to think about the day we’ve just had. Self care is so much more than that.
Self care starts on the inside.
It’s important to remember that self care starts with how you treat your body. This means everything you feed yourself, how you move your body, and how you take care of your body is self care. Sometimes this means drinking all the water, eating your veggies, and making sure your body is fueled is what you need. Honestly, this is what you need most days.
Sometimes self care looks like walking in the mornings, squeezing in a workout before work, or doing yoga in the evenings. It might be meeting your girls for a group workout class. Working out and moving your body is a form of self care. On the flip side, some days you need that cupcake or to take a break from working out.
I know there is some controversy in these statements. Diet culture and the resulting (understandable!) dislike for diet culture has led people to assume that if you are promoting eating healthy and working out that you must also be promoting weight loss. To be abundantly clear, I think you should eat healthy and move your body in some way even if you don’t want to lose weight.
I also understand that some people want to lose weight for personal reasons, some people have no desire to lose weight, and others want to gain muscle. I’m not necessarily an advocate for weight loss. I’ve had a disordered relationship with food, I’ve fallen into the trap of diet culture. Feeling forced into losing weight isn’t healthy. However, caring enough to fuel your body with healthy foods and moving it to release endorphins (and all of the other wonderful benefits of working out) is self care.
it can be complicated
Sometimes, it can be hard. It can be saying no to plans that don’t serve you, going to bed when you really want to stay up (I’m working on this), keeping a schedule, remembering to take your medicine, going to work when you don’t want to, or even getting up on time.
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Sometimes it’s focusing on your goals because you know your life will improve when you reach them. It can be giving up small pleasures like Netflix at night or playing video games so you have more time for your side hustle.
Sometimes it really is bubble baths and face masks
Despite the fact that some forms of self care are not so Insta worthy, some are. I’m a huge believer in taking time out of your day – even if it’s only five minutes – to simply do something that brings you joy.
For me, this is a nightly sheet mask while I read or watch Netflix with a cup of sleepy tea. It might be a bubble bath for you or a glass of wine in front of the fire on Friday.
I’m not saying to not enjoy the Instagram worthy moments of self care; this was just heavy on my mind as we head into this New Year’s resolutions season.