As of early 2018, “self-care” seems to be one of the wellness buzzwords floating around popular social conversations. Self-care is an important component of living healthily, particularly for those dealing with large amounts of distress on a regular basis. But what exactly qualifies as self-care and what doesn’t? As comedienne Jamie Loftus asks in a video about celebrities using vitamin IVs to treat hangovers, “is it just like, buying brand name stuff and wearing a mask in public? Am I caring for myself right now? Is this my best life?”
Jamie’s muffled questions from behind a Superman mask are both humorous and valid. The concept of self-care seems to have expanded from maintaining regular and healthy functioning to justifying spending large amounts of money on potentially unhelpful luxuries. This is not to say that an occasional and controlled “splurge” cannot be self-care, especially for the strongly self-denying person. This is to say, however, that a lot of true self-care tactics are everyday “boring” things that actually make the moments a little easier to work through. Following through on helpful routines may feel mundane but often sustain a foundation of daily functioning that you deserve. While this can often feel like drudgery for some, one thought to keep in mind is that you are giving a gift to your near future self and increasing your odds for a better day down the line. Here are some of those ordinary tasks that, when done regularly for self-care, may keep a better baseline for your life and keep things stable when you don’t feel great:
- Taking your vitamins and medications. Sometimes your brain just decides that you’ve been doing fine and don’t need these, despite that regular use has probably gotten to you “doing fine” to begin with. Keep it up! Current and future you deserve this.
- Eating regular, healthful meals. Whether you have a lot on your mind or generally forget to eat, eating regular meals gives you the fuel and nutrients to keep going. Take the moment to eat when you “should” and avoid what could be a crash later.
- Keeping your space tidy… enough. How tidy this means depends on the person. Overall, however, a little less clutter can mean the difference between a safe and comfortable space and a potential accident and injury. Having some clean space can also make a better mindset when things are difficult. If you’re not ready to implement a new multi-habit cleaning system, have no fear: set a timer for a few minutes and do something small. Every bit counts.
Sometimes, of course, self-care means letting things get a little dirty and simply accepting where you are in your moment. You exist in the space you occupy and in the state you are in, and you are always of value regardless of the details. You can appreciate both where you are and where you want to be, and then build toward that life for yourself. You deserve to have a stable foundation in your life, and it often starts with one small daily habit at a time. Once you have the basics down, of course, you can start to explore. Try supplementing your habits with some from this list from Soul-Warriors.com. TinyBuddha.com also has some great suggestions to take your self-care further.
Believing and investing in your own value can be complicated. If you would like to add Flourish Mental Health to your team of support, give us a call at 832-639-2015 or send us an email to make an appointment.