Self-care is described as any activity that is done deliberately in order to take care of your physical, mental, or emotional health. I have often found that whenever there are other tasks that need to be completed, those tasks seem to take preference over any of my personal tasks. This is not only my plight, but the plight of everyone all over the world. We seem to prioritize making money over our mental, physical and emotional health. I have seen this happen first hand with my mother and habits are usually learned from those who we spend the most time with. I thought this was the way life was supposed to be. Where you continuously sacrifice yourself because other tasks that are more important that your health seems to have become a normal, and sometimes expected behaviour. I find that this statement is usually true for women. Personally, I have been on the receiving end of sexist behaviour by a woman no less. Around the time of planning my wedding, I mentioned to my mother in law that I was not getting enough attention and help from my husband when it came to both the wedding planning and in general, to which she responded that my husband’s job is very important and that I must just accept he is too busy with work to focus on other things. I was flabbergasted by her response. Here I was, working full time in the same field, studying part time, planning a wedding in another city, and yet I still managed to make time for my husband. See the double standards here? This is what needs to change.
In my home, my husband and I are working on implementing things that are good for us on all aspects of our marriage as well working through all of the preconceptions of what life is supposed to be like according to the previous generation and changing it to the reality we want to live in. This is where becomes incredibly important in my opinion. Sometimes it is the little things that makes things change for the better.
My current self-care routine is centered around healing my childhood trauma. I was not abused physically but there are behaviours in my life that stem from things I went through as a child. I recently watched Heal, a documentary on Netflix that spoke about how childhood traumas manifest themselves in our physical illnesses and conditions. I was captivated by the programme and I am extremely excited to read the book releasing tomorrow.
So what self-care practices do I enjoy in my life? I have many. Firstly, the ones I practice daily are my skin care routines (I have a different one for the morning than the evening and I always try to a mask once or twice a week), I journal daily (this is the one that has the most impact in my life. While I try to journal once a day, I often pick up my journal in order to work through any strong emotions or reactions I have with the aim to find the root of the emotion behind my reaction)
Another way I practice self-care is to get enough sleep. We often push ourselves to sleep less than the necessary amount needed in order to maintain our health. I spoke about this in my blog post about sleep (https://theuninspiredblogger.com/2019/10/14/want-better-sleep-here-is-how-i-get-it/) and I briefly touched on this constant need to hustle and I know people who casually drop phrases about how they don’t need sleep, or they will sleep when they are dead. At the rate society keeps pushing us to constantly be working, many of us will die before our time. High stress environments and not enough recovery time cause numerous health issues. When I sleep well at night, I am able to focus better on tasks that I need to get done while I am awake. When you are able to focus, you are able to get more done.
Another form of self-care I have found to be soothing is decluttering. I put on some good music and just clear up the living space. I pack away things that I have previously taken out but are not currently using, straighten up the cushions on the couches and and just declutter the space. A clean environment promotes calmness.
There are many other ways that you can practice self-care. It is all about what makes you feel better, what calms your anxiety, what helps you see the light again when days are dark. Over and above the journalling and decluttering, I like to take time out to add shows to my Netflix list, read a book that is nostalgic or informative. Self-care can even be something as simple as taking a walk outside, getting some fresh air. One of my favourite things to do is to stand on the balcony with the sun beating down and watching all of the people in the street below.
It is important to find things that help you deal with your trauma, things that ease your anxiety and and also to talk to someone. I have found that whenever something is bothering me, instead of letting it steep and turning something that could be a simple misunderstanding into a bigger issue, I voice my concerns. This has given me the confidence to share more of my concerns with my partner and opened a line of communication that has led to some breakthroughs both for me, personally as well as for my husband.
What do you do for self-care? How do you feel afterwards? I would love to hear how this practice has changed your life! Let me know in the comments below!
-The Uninspired Blogger