Self-care is not just a fancy hashtag you use on your Instagram post while hopping from one cafe to another with a book or a laptop. It is not just a caption of the latest profile picture on Facebook- you sipping hot chocolate. It isn’t a catchphrase you use to appear ‘woke’ in front of your friends.
Self-care is not materialistic. Let that sink in. If you think that instant gratification or treating yourself for doing the bare minimum define self-care, you are completely wrong. That is just an escape route you create in order to not put in effort into building yourself. You party every weekend. Have you ever wondered why? You want to be around people to avoid introspection. You find distractions like binge-watching a new web series, or impulse shopping on the internet.
If you are more in touch with yourself and avoid actively participating in the consumer culture, you may have at least once tried to “fix” yourself. If not, you may have waited for your knight in shining armor to come and magically heal you. Believe me, fixing somebody sounds perfect in music albums but fails miserably in real life.
First, you need to accept yourself and take care of your soul. It’s a lot of work and it takes time. It includes going for therapy, journaling, dragging yourself to work, finding time to meditate or practice yoga. It means eating healthy food and cutting on addictions It also means cleaning your circle. Remember that self-care comes in lots of forms and you need to find what suits your personality.
Taking care of yourself means you will not depend on anyone else for being content. You will feel complete on your own. That won’t happen if you just put up a fancy quote on your bio. You need to analyze your actions, find the toxic behavioral patterns, identify the people who drain your energy, understand what distracts you the most, find out how you can be more at peace with who you are.
Find a hobby and stick to it. It could be anything – painting, dancing, singing, cooking or reading. Every day you must take out some “me time”, during which you won’t touch your phone. Try to talk to old friends who don’t judge you instead of hanging out with people who look down upon you if you decide to stay in on weekends. Take care of your skin if that makes you feel any better but trust me, once you truly understand who you are, superficial things won’t matter.
Your aim is to become the best version of yourself through self-care, don’t be too harsh. Take it slow but you need to indulge in it for a healthy lifestyle.
As per famous self-care guide, Kriti G: “Self-care isn’t always pretty, it’s not always candles and a bathtub full of roses, sometimes it’s forcing yourself to get out of bed and dragging yourself, sometimes it’s the pep talk you give to yourself or the quick cry in the corner. Sometimes it is convincing yourself to do all these things you should be doing but you have no will whatsoever, sometimes it’s cutting some ties no matter how precious they were, sometimes it’s the bitter medicine you need to give yourself.
Self-care isn’t always pretty but it’s so worth it.”
So, self-care without all those fancy hashtags is something worth a try, isn’t it?