We all love some self care. Whether it’s a bubble bath, chocolate cake or a night in on the weekend. It feels nice to have time to ourselves. But it doesn’t always get to the root of why you feel like you need some self care in the first place.
I’ve always been one to treat myself. Whether it was a shopping trip, food or a bubble bath, that was my sorta self care guide but about a year or two ago when I was knee deep in depression self care did nothing for me. I still felt depressed after a bath and I felt even more depressed after eating cake but when it comes to self care we don’t really know what else to do?
So it’s been a shit day for whatever reason and you’re feeling in need of a bubble bath to relax. That’s fine, relax, you deserve it! Give yourself a few minutes to make the most of why you needed a bath and then begin to ask yourself why.
Why did you need some self care?
Why are you feeling like this?
Why don’t you want to tell anyone about your day?
and so on…
This is how I learnt what my deepest insecurities, traumas and worries were.
If you’re like me and you can be pretty stubborn when it comes to admitting hard truths then this task is a good way to challenge that. I have 4-5 layers (depending on how stubborn I am feeling or the reason I am feeling down) that I need to work through to get to the underlying truth on my down days. I’ve tried to explain (as best as I can) what my process is when I’m in need of some self care.
Stage 1 – So I’ve decided to have a bath after a long day at work. The first question I would ask myself is
Why are you feeling like this?
The first few answers are usually bullshit. The answers are short, snappy and sometimes sarcastic to try to defend myself against vulnerability. I’d repeatedly ask myself why till I got an answer I could work with. The answer could be something as simple as you’ve had a shit day.
Stage 2 – So I had a shit day but again that doesn’t really get to the root. So I’d ask myself why I had a shit day. The answers are usually still pretty basic like ‘Work was just shit’. Yes it was shit but WHY was it shit. If you talk to yourself as much as I do you might have an idea of how god damn frustrating it can be to reason with yourself. If I could avoid talking about my problems I would.
Stage 3 – So now it’s asking yourself why work was shit? At this point you now know what the main negative factor of your day has been and this is where your day gets unravelled. This is where you go through the days events. You somewhat relive what has pissed you off, upset you or hurt you. So here is where I would spill the beans on all the gossip of the office to myself. This is where thoughts begin to be released from your mind. You may even start to feel better afterwards but you could (if you needed to) dive a little deeper.
Stage 4 – My worst nightmare. The feelings stage. By this point you have realised how dramatic your day has been but what has all that drama left you feeling? Don’t be afraid to say you are sad, hurt, angry, worried or fucking fuming. Remember you are only talking to yourself. It can strictly stay between you and you if needs be. Sometimes for me, my feelings would be so intense I couldn’t always work with myself at this stage and getting to this stage was challenging enough as it was. This was where all my true thoughts/feelings were. This is where I realised that I couldn’t stick in an office job because I needed the money, my dads death had nothing to do with me, my mental health needs help and a lot of other hard truths. I will honesty say it’s not been a highlight of any of my self care moments.
Once you get to the real reason why you are feeling like you pick up on a lot more of what is going on around you and it helps you figure out what you want from life. It helps push you forward and you can figure out sooo much about yourself along to way. I started off as someone who always took on the responsibility of others actions. I always listened to what others were saying and I’d try to help them out but in the process I would forget about myself. Self care is necessary to remind yourself that YOU are important and YOU are loved.
These stages are something I use as a guideline. I’m at a point now where I can usually skip stages 1 and 2 and start off with the real reason I’m feeling how I am but it’s taken a lot of work to get here. A lot of arguments with myself, tears and laughter (yes, all with myself).
Self care isn’t always about the bubble baths, candles or late night snacks. It’s about caring for yourself! Which means all of you!! Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Self care is important as it helps you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself.
My ways of self care:
- Bubble bath
- Listening to music
- Spending time with Barney
- Good hygiene
Self care is important and if you feel like you can’t talk to anybody else, please at least talk to yourself.
Sending my love and best wishes to you all,