The term “self-care” has been adopted a lot lately since it has become trendy to discuss the pleasant things you do for yourself in the name of being your own best nurturer. Self-care can sometimes be misunderstood with self-indulgence or selfishness, but it is not so: self-care involves a deliberate and intentional daily practice and it is a process of tending to your mind, body, and spirit. True self-care is not bath bombs and candlelight, it is making the choice to build a life you do not need to regularly escape from.
Self-care is often a very uninviting thing. It is admitting what is ‘healthy’ for your whole self and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.
It is often a ‘dreaded and detestable’ thing that you fear to do. It 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 living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t. 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.
It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means ‘rewiring’ and ‘work’ at your potential, it is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. 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… which is why most people also fear desperately that the world will one day take their happiness away. Maybe, what you’re jealous of in other people is not what you don’t have, but what you won’t allow yourself to go get. Perhaps what you’re really worried about when you think things don’t look good enough is that inside, they don’t feel good enough.
You either give yourself permission to find and create happiness. Most people wait for the outside world to give them something they think is worthy of being happy about. Your perception of your life is within your locus of control. Circumstances don’t determine your happiness, your decision to be present and participate does, healing in ways you do not think is possible and don’t even recognize right now.
Become the person you know you want and are meant to be. Be the one who knows that pampering yourself are ways to enjoy life, not escape from it.
MSocSc Prof Counsel, ProfDip Psych, GDAPP, GDPC