• Charlotte

Rethinking self-care

Oh look! Here’s yet another post on how to do self-care.

Come on folks, would I do that to you?

I do want to tackle the issue of self-care though. And how self-care is different for everyone.

Whilst I’ve long time resisted the notion of a bubble bath lit by a Jo Malone candle as a way of making me feel oh so much better, this is more about the way that self-care is framed, and what it’s doing when we say that’s what we’re doing.

I’m a big fan of not-being-busy. I like to think that I’m fairly ‘balanced’ with work and life (whatever that is?) – that’s the big goal, right? Within these spheres of resisting busy and giving equal time to work and play is that good old buzzword, self-care. To self-care right, we have to do what’s good for us – that bubble bath, that time for yoga, that nourishing food, time away from social media.

Now. I know it might seem like I’m attacking that bubble bath, but I’m not. They’re okay I guess. What I think we need to give more thought to is what we’re doing when we’re self-caring (or worse still, telling others how to self-care).

Take the first big article that comes up when you search ‘self-care’ in Google. I came to this article is Women’s Health, with a big ol’ list of things to do. And let me tell you, some of these ain’t cheap (£26 for bath oil, u k hun?). There’s an overriding theme here, and regardless of the article you find (unless it focuses specifically on mental health), and that’s the ‘right’ way to do self-care. Whilst there are plenty of options on this list for you to choose from, they mostly push a ‘healthy’ life style, where healthy is deemed via you’re flexibility in downward dog, and how many chia seeds you’ve eaten this week. Also – this notion of healthy crosses over with being ‘productive’ – an interesting thing to think about, given how our society focuses on the productive self.

Do you know what makes me feel better when I need some ‘me time’? A shit load of sugary tea, binge watching Friends (I’m on season 7 now, so you’ll stop hearing about it soon enough), and maybe a Dominos. I’m okay with that! And don’t worry – I’ll definitely hydrate appropriately after that greasy pizza (anyone else get that thirst after a good takeaway?!)

The other thing that goes hand-in-hand with a helping of self-care is the link to stress. As though in order to self-care, you must be experiencing some kind of stress – usually work related – and this is your evening/weekend remedy until we start the cycle all over again. Shouldn’t we be asking – actually, can I just compliment myself (as the article suggests) regardless of whether I’m resisting work stress or not? (my eyebrows are too cute to not do that!) Or actually, can I say ‘no’ to something I don’t want to do, just because I want to nap with the dog on the sofa, not because I’m stressed?

I appreciate the irony in writing a post on questioning self-care when I’ve given some examples of self-care – I just think it’s good to just do you. Whatever that is, whyever that is.

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