The Realities of Self-Care

If I had a penny for every time someone suggested I do a face-mask for self-care, I’d be a freaking bazillionaire. If I had a penny for every time a face mask did made me feel like I’d cared for myself, I’d be living in a cardboard box under the Don Valley Parkway.

No, seriously.

Whenever the topic of ‘self-care’ comes, people have an idea of what that looks like. I often get suggestion of face-masks, mani/pedi’s, hot baths – things of that sort – but they feel like a chore. I was sitting in my bathtub with my expensive bath bomb from Lush and some sort of face mask that turned my face into a bubble, and all I could think about was the overwhelming weight of everything that was causing me to need self-care. This thing that people had been telling me that was so amazing and necessary stressed me out and I began avoiding it. However, there are other other activities that need to be brought to light.

Self-care is the act of taking care of one’s self physical and mental health, so I can totally understand why people people suggest face-masks and bubble baths, but here’s the problem: face-masks and bubble baths don’t always do the trick. Self-care is quite different than how I’ve been taught to perceive it. Self-care can be anything  – from face masks to going to the bank to deposit that cheque that’s been in your wallet for God knows how long. They are actions that allow us to breathe at the end of the day and for everyone, that’s actually going to be different.

I want to highlight the fact that not all of these actions will actually be easy. It’s self-care in a way that we don’t typically think about and the reality is that self-care isn’t always something overly positive – self-care is the act of doing things to take care of oneself. That includes basic necessities and self-compassion. We have to care for every aspect of ourselves in order for us to be healthy and happy individuals. Self-cafe sometimes means doing something that makes you uncomfortable but will benefit you in the long run. For example, cleaning my apartment is a huge chore; however, it keeps my home clean and safe from chaos which helps me feel better and function.

  1. Clean my apartment.
  2. Pick up my medications and organize them for the week.
  3. Brush my teeth.
  4. Rock climbing (with a partner).
  5. Do my hair and makeup.
  6. Have a nap.
  7. Take a walk outside.
  8. Mindfulness.
  9. Talk to someone about how I’m feeling.
  10. Writing (or blogging).
  11. Cold shower.
  12. Yoga.
  13. Do my laundry and put it away.
  14. Have a snack/nourish yourself.
  15. Have a good cry.
  16. Wash my dishes.
  17. Try a new recipe.
  18. Organizing my drawers and closet.
  19. Get rid of old clothes – specifically “sick clothes” – by donating, selling, or trading them.
  20. Create a meal plan and follow it.
  21. Go grocery shopping.
  22. Book a doctor’s appointment.
  23. Try a guided meditation.
  24. Read a book.
  25. Go swimming.
  26. Spend time with my family.
  27. Cuddle with my boyfriend.
  28. Play with my cat.
  29. Try a new crochet or knitting project.
  30. Watch a movie with my boyfriend.

Please use these skills wisely. Please take care of yourselves.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all activities are beneficial for everyone. Please use wisely and consult with a doctor if necessary.

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