I read (and shared) an article I found on Facebook last weekend. The piece, from Thought Catalogue, about self-care by Brianna Wiest resonated with me – and others obviously – and I’ve been pondering it since.
It was the ‘bubble bath’ phrase that drew my attention initially. And, anyone who knows me knows I love my baths. (As is evident from my blog header!)
I’ll often share my current reading material perched on the edge of the bath. (The book, not me. I am usually, inside the aforementioned bathtub, precariously balancing my book, phone and glass of champagne.) But more often than not I get comments about how lucky I am I get to loll in the bath. And read.
And I clench my teeth and try to let the comment wash over me because I’m tired of telling those same people I would much prefer to be talking to my partner about my day, or putting kids to bed. Of course there’s a ‘grass is greener’ whole scenario happening there. I have 2hr baths each night to kill time and because, well…. what else would I do? Watch TV? Blog?
Anyhoo, two things struck me about this article.
1. Self care looks different for all of us
For many it may be the time alone in a bathtub. For me it’s sitting in front of TV watching music videos on a Saturday morning, eating brownies, drinking vanilla diet coke and catching up on blogging. It’s spending entire weekends at home. It’s pre-scheduling blog posts so I don’t have to stress about them during the week. Sure it’s sometimes going to the hairdresser or similar but it’s also doing stuff I KNOW will make my life easier and possibly happier (in the long term).
As Wiest puts it: Self care is often doing the thing we least want to do. Wiest suggests that it’s often about making choices for our long-term wellness. Which leads me to the other (and probably more important) message delivered via the piece…
2. Self-care is about becoming the person you want to be
Wiest notes that many of us resort to self-care only when we’re completely exhausted and need some reprieve from the world we’ve built around us.
I can certainly relate to this… and have often commented on how different my post-seachange life was (is) to my pre-seachange life. I wanted to escape from that life A LOT. And think I did so in fairly unhealthy ways.
The years following my move I found myself less in need of ‘comfort’ or rituals that kept me sane in earlier years. And I’ve noticed a few bad habits slipping back into my world now I’m back working full-time. I’ve seen the ‘other’ side now. The not-dark side. I know what life should / could be like and I’m aspiring to work towards that – developing habits and ‘self-care’ actions to help me return and stay there.
What does self-care mean to you?
The Lovin’ Life team includes: