Turning surface self-care into purposeful self-care.
Self-care is a word you see everywhere now—in the news, your favorite TV shows, the posts your mom shares on Facebook, and, of course, on skincare products suggesting a glowing life outlook comes from a 20-minute lavender sheet mask. But if you read the fine print, it's not as simple as that.
The self-care phenomenon seemed to emerge from a mix of things that I could go on and on about, like Millennial burnout culture, a trying political climate, and social media-breeding comparison anxiety. It's become more about seeking temporary relief for bigger issues. Hard day? Just buy that $20 candle, paint your nails, and show up strong tomorrow, babe! Or, you clocked all your hours AND worked overtime, you deserve that piece of chocolate cake. To which I ask, what happened to treating yourself for the sake of enjoying something rather than because you earned it?
The key is turning self-care into self-awareness. Below, I've outlined a few ways to turn surface self-care into purposeful self-care. Remember, there truly is nothing wrong with getting a mani to feel good or getting an extra scoop of ice cream—just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.
Creating healthy routines relaxing for you.
Make sure you're choosing something that you find relaxing versus what is supposed to be relaxing. For instance, I know some people who swear by meditation, though it's never been effective for me. Instead, I'll take to my stream of consciousness journal to clear my mind, but that might not be the case for everyone. Find what you enjoy and stick to it so it's always there for you.
Investing in your long-term self.
Here's something I learned: you feel a lot less guilty buying an online education course than you do buying another $3 Starbucks latte. Why? Because deep down, you know the class is going to get you somewhere. Whether it's investing in a coaching session or paying a little extra for those vitamins that make you feel good, investing in your future is (in my opinion) always worth it. That's not to say you can't buy that dress you've been eyeing on sale—just be aware of things you're spending money on getting you closer to where you want to be.
Taking a break and setting boundaries.
There's SO much power in saying no and being aware of what you can and can't take on. Loading up your plate or running away only pushes you further away from the real things going on. Instead, put your foot down and take responsibility (and pride) in what you CAN do, not what you can't. People will respect you a hell of a lot more, too.
Budgeting and rewarding yourself within your means.
One of the problems I have with self-care becoming "trendy" is that it can encourage you to spend money on things that are supposed to help. Throw a cute little label on it, and I go weak in the knees. While there are some really great products and independent businesses out there, it's important to be cognizant about not just what the real deal is, but what is going to help YOU.
Glass of wine...and two glasses of water.
Stay hydrated, y'all. Set alarms, do whatever you have to do. 💕
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