The way the phrase is commonly used in the beauty world, “self-care” usually refers to outward beauty maintenance — things like doing a face mask or taking a bubble bath or getting your hair done, i.e. “meow time,” and I totally get that, because how many times have I found respite at the salon or in painting my paws or in playing with makeup on my bedroom floor? Too many times to count.
But these days self-care also means something else to me. It means taking care of my inside voice and my mental and emotional health by doing the things that I know help me feel functional during the day, like getting enough sleep at night, and staying hydrated, and doing my hair in the morning (instead of just putting in up in a messy bun), and changing out of my pajamas into “real clothes” before 10. (Side note: I work from home, so there’s always the temptation to not fix my hair and stay in my robe all day, but when I do this I always feel like crap.)
Also, stretching, since it helps with my back pain, and sweating for at least 30 minutes a day, or however often I can swing it. Making my bed first thing in the morning is another thing that helps, as does eating raw fruits and veg… I also try to care for myself by reminding myself throughout the day that the little things that IRRITATE ME won’t matter in 10 years.
Probably the most important thing, and this took me a long time to figure out, is to do everything I can possibly do to proactively keep myself from slipping down into that space where I feel perpetually blue, and when I start to feel it coming, I tell El Hub, for one. I also reach out to my friends and family and make plans to do things with them (this one is hard for me because I naturally want to retreat inward and be left alone when I start feeling blue).
I also try to work out a little more, because exercise really helps keep my mood even, and I make myself do at least one thing from the Post-It list of “activities that spark joy” that I keep on my computer.
All of this really helps me care for myself.
What does self-care mean to you? 🙂
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,