The Unvoiced Aspects of Self-Care: Part One

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Image via Claire Nichols
Ah, self care. A buzz word in this day and age on the ol' Internet. Honestly, I'm a-ok with this since it is addressing the simple need to care for ourselves that has been overlooked and ignored for far too long. However, cultural self-care has turned into something too trendy and only based on temporary satisfaction, while a true caring for oneself includes the real, tough and sometimes far-from-rosy work that honors our true value.

So, let's get some things straight on what caring for ourselves is and isn't:

01 | Self-care is not the same as "treat yo' self".

I'm a big advocate for Parks and Recreation's famous "treat yo' self" mentality. Still, when we view caring for ourselves as treating our short-lived desires, it eventually harms our identity and worth. For, "treat yo' self" is what it's name deems: a treat. Getting a milkshake after a hard day should be filed under the "treat" category rather than defined as true and long-lasting care. This is due to the fact that caring for oneself should be something we practice day in and day out regardless of circumstance or emotion.

Image via Claire Nichols
02 | A bath does not cure everything (sure does help though).

I love a long bath at the end of the day. Always have. I truly do not understand those who hate on baths and claim that you are "soaking in your own filth". (I'm just over here like "I like my filth and it feels GOOD".) However, I cannot count the times that I assume a bad day will be alleviated by a bath and ultimately disappointed when I still feel the weight of the day afterward. That's because a bath (or snack or small purchase) is not created to completely cure a crappy day or situation. It is made to help, I think - to be a small joy that we should enjoy to its fullest potential while understanding its worldly limits. Yet, even these good things do not heal the way we are made to heal - with truth, grace & love.

03 | Self-care is not selfish.

I know I am not the only one who has felt the guilt or shame brought onto me by others when caring for myself. Only recently I have started to see self-care as a valuable necessity to my life rather than a selfish endeavor. Hear me when I say this: Giving of ourselves for the sake of others is a beautiful thing and something we should practice and do often. Yet, when we forget to give ourselves that same care, time and energy, we are unable to fully show up for others in their need. Being able to recognize and express our own needs helps us to better understand the needs of those around us. When practiced well and often, this makes going through life together an even more beautiful endeavor.

STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO. I think this topic is both weighty and important, so I decided it would be best presented in two parts. Look out for a continued post on self-care -- specifically, some practical aspects and resources -- later this week. 


by mlekoshi