I feel like self-care is one of those big phrases at the moment. I don’t think I can go an hour or two without seeing or hearing the phrase somewhere.
I think one of the reasons why it’s such a big deal is because it hasn’t got a clear definition. Someone could decide eating healthily is self-care as that’s looking after your body. Someone could think buying a treat every week is self-care as it’s rewarding yourself. Someone could see meditation as self-care as it looks after your mind.
I’ve always struggled with self-care. It’s not the actions themselves but the balance of what is self-care and what is just being unproductive. I always have that sense of guilt when I take a night off because I know I could take the time to do some work and get ahead. It’s even more difficult when the thing that’s telling you to be productive is the anxiety you are trying to care for.
Life can be really rocky for me sometimes. It can be a struggle to even get out of the house, let alone go out to treat myself in any way. On my bad days it can be a struggle to even get out of bed and have a shower or even brush my teeth. It sounds disgusting and it’s not exactly hygienic but it’s honest and that’s what this blog is all about.
With that being said I’ve decided to make a list of self-care activities that will easily become a daily routine. They’re simple things: showering, having a skincare routine and doing my makeup are my main priorities at the moment. These tasks may seem simplistic to a lot of people but on my bad days these can be as daunting as running a marathon with no training. Also they are purposefully simplistic; I don’t need complicated tasks when my brain is being a dick and can’t concentrate on simple things.
What I’ve learnt over the last 2 years is that self-care doesn’t need to be extravagant or something people on Instagram tell you makes them ‘glow’. That’s not the point. Self-care is such an individual thing that it shouldn’t be compared with anybody else. What a depressed person sees as self-care is going to be different than the self-care of someone suffering from bipolar disorder.
I decided to write this post now because of the season. Seasonal mental health issues in winter are very common. I’ve been struggling the last couple of weeks and I know many others have had the same struggles. When the world is dark and cold, like it is now, it’s not exactly inviting or joyous. Even if you’re just struggling at the moment or you have a diagnosed mental health issue, it’s still ridiculously difficult some days to just exist.
With that being said, I’m making a declaration and I want anybody else who’s struggling to the same. I will treat anything I have struggled to do as a triumph even if it’s something as simple as cleaning my teeth. It’ll take a while for this declaration to naturally happen as my brain is naturally very cynical. However, time isn’t really a massive issue for me anymore; I’m still recovering with my mental health and it’s been 2 years now.
Self-care isn’t about other people and what they do or believe. I’ve learnt that if you copy others in what they do self-care becomes a chore rather than a nice task. It was always be about you and what your needs are in that moment.