The concept of self care is so hot right now. Everybody does it – everywhere you go. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is SO important. But self care almost seems the new religion everyone has just adopted. And while I love talking about the spiritual side of self care (just wait for that blogpost ;)) there is a side of self care nobody seems to talk about. Because it’s dark. Or hard. And not as convenient and comfortable as ‘self care’ might sound. But I’m a scorpio, so dark and uncomfortable attracts me. Let’s dive into this.
What we like to view as ‘self care’
Usually, when we talk about self care, we often actually mean self maintenance. Painting your nails, shaving your body, or getting your hair done can feel like self care, but they do not actually make us better human beings. Or make us feel better on the long run.
We might indirectly feel better on the inside because of what we do on the outside. Maybe we feel more worthy because we take good care of ourselves, and in that way we ‘care’ for our ‘self’. But other than that, making sure your outward appearance looks good is not the same as caring for your character, your mind or your soul.
And yes, there is a deeper and traditional concept of self care that we also talk about very often. Investing in your development, reading books or meditation also count as self care. Making sure you are okay, making sure you feel good about yourself, and feeding your self-image with positive mental states is self care. But there’s the catch.
What ‘self care’ also is
In order to take real care of yourself and your happiness, and in order to really get what you deserve, you sometimes have to be really hard and difficult for yourself. Sometimes, you have to grab life by the balls, and force yourself to do something you really hate, or that really hurts, in order to take care of yourself in the long run.
And no, this isn’t as fun or convenient as taking a bath or reading a book. It doesn’t instantly make you feel better, and it doesn’t sound like something we want to call ‘self care’ at all. But it is. Self care can be really hard, dark and ugly.
So it’s time we get used to taking care of ourselves in these ways too. Real happiness, real self worth and real fulfilment require a little more effort than the traditional, easy sense of ‘self care’. Because the things that make us feel unhappy, unworthy and unfulfilled are serious problems, which require serious measures.
You need to hear this
So, don’t shoot the messenger, but sometimes self care is not going back to your toxic ex-boyfriend, even though you love him. Self care is telling your friends that you can’t hangout tonight because you need time to work through your darkness or loneliness right now.
It is NOT wasting a lot of money on shopping, drinking or getting your hair done to suppress your emotions, but actually dealing with them – ESPECIALLY when it hurts. It is eating healthy and reasonably, even though ‘you really love food’. Self care is quitting your victim-mentality, and being hard on yourself just so you can pick yourself up because, well: nobody else can do it.
Self care is facing rejection, pain and hardship. Because dealing with it and being happy in the long run is what a person who cares for herself would do. Running away and staying in your dark hole because it’s easier in the moment, is what the girl who doesn’t love herself would do (because she believes she doesn’t deserve to be happy in the long run).
And yes, forcing yourself to work towards being the girl who loves herself and moves on, instead of the girl who hates herself and gets stuck – you guessed it – also counts as self care. Let’s get it into our system.
Let me know what you think! What types of self care do you practice? And would you like a worksheet with this blog?