Clean Beauty, Holistic Medicine for Makers

The Self-Care Conundrum

#selfcare – hi, who else has heard this a lot lately?

Not just me? I thought so.

It’s been thrown around a lot. A lot a lot, and I… don’t think we understand it.

The social media version is misleading af, connoted as fun therapy; baths, buyin’ stuff – you’re well versed by now. What the trend is boiling down to, though, is blurring the lines between truly improving our wellbeing and being a beautifully disguised avoidance mechanism.

I, for one, have trouble with avoidance. Anxious? I online shop. Nervous about my health? I eat a candy (or five). Existential dread and job fear? I take a bath. That will help, right?

Do you know what would really help me in all of these situations? Meditating. Self reflection. Assessing how to set myself up for success the next time. Taking measures to improve my particular health needs.

Now it isn’t everyone, but I would wager there is a good percentage of folks – myself included – who the current wave of ‘self-care’ is not benefiting. I would bet, that there are many of us that are using it as justification to further put off our self actualization. I would jusssssst bet.

I am not saying the self-care trend is negative at it’s core. No no no. So far it’s fun. It’s lighthearted. It’s trying to give us space to dote on ourselves. It’s a way to make time for us in ways we haven’t before. Even so, it’s important to note, that as for integrating truly caring about ourselves into our social conscious and base natures, it hasn’t hit that mark.

And do you know what’s dangerous? Picture this: How will we ever begin to work on ourselves if society says we already are, already have?

Mind blown

It’s realllly subtle guys. Itty bitty, but huge. Are we being real about what will honest to god improve our health and wellbeing? Are we tho?

In self-care there is Function and there is Feeling. And assessing both, well, that’s how we’ll know.

Function

Meaning – Is this actually helping me?

Simple but…. Are you double checking this? Every time?

When you’re worried about your health, are you addressing it? Maybe it isn’t even about outward action or physical remedies, but taking strides to deal with the mental/emotional reaction.

When you had a bad day, are you discovering why? REALLY why? Or will you reward yourself with a relaxing activity and never truly deal.

Are you taking whatever action – even if it is the most difficult and hard to face – that will help you most RIGHT NOW.

Well are you?

Feeling

Now, have you taken this too far?

The ultimate self-care killer is perfectionism, I know from experience.

There was a day I woke up and I realized that my extensive self-care routine of wellness niceties had a root in something icky – and it took me 26 years to figure it out.

I was giving myself a daily dose of masochism in a very well disguised package: self hatin’ self-care.

How could this be?

Do you have a strict wellness routine because you appreciate your body or can’t stand it? Does your beauty regimen reflect you loving the way you look, or hating it? Do you workout because you feel lovey dovey feelings about your body or because you look in the mirror and cry? Do you fill your days with every activity under the sun because you love them, because you love you, or because you are afraid that without constant activity you will fall short?

Healthy actions, the healthiest and most productive in the WORLD won’t make a tinge of a difference if you hate them, or hate yourself.

Pay attention to your thoughts, your feelings; you can’t self-care without them. The activity is just an earmark. Don’t go through the motions without realizing your emotional needs. You’ll fall short, stress yourself out, and not even come close to the outcome you desire.

Bottom line, self-care is about taking care of you. Level with yourself, look at it objectively, make it count, and keep it real – then take your bubble bath.

– Ya girl, Chels

Photoset by: Matthew Stegall