Self-care isn’t always face masks and bubble baths…
As the years of my life roll by, I am learning the importance of self-care. The people-pleaser at my core has been happy to take a back seat to the whims of others to the point of my own detriment far too many times than I’d like to admit. Self-care has come to my rescue as a shiny solution to that fatal flaw. But, my definition of self-care is quickly evolving.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good face mask, and absolutely adore bath time. Queue the chill Spotify playlist, volcano candles, and my favorite cab. Mental breaks, “me time”, taking care of my skin are all well and good, but what is I’m discovering to be more important, is the other 90 percent of my life.
I think I get caught up in the “quick fix” mentality too often. It’s much too easy for me to try to satiate my feelings with a quick moment of what society sees as “self-care”. There was a season not too long ago in my life where I found myself operating in the mindset of making every decision based on what would make me feel better. (Side note: This is not a good place to be, and one of the reasons I decided to take my tail back to therapy.) It definitely was a season of high stress, disappointment, frustration, and the like. My solution at the time was to try to “fix it” with self-care. My intentions were good, but let me tell you a lesson I learned that is extremely important…
True self-care is creating a life that I am happy to live–not one that I need an escape from.
I get caught up in this “treat yo self” mentality, and lose sight of the 90 percent. True self-care is doing the things that will make me feel better in the long run–not the short-term. This doesn’t always feel good in the short term. It’s the earlier alarms, and sweating as often as I can, and choosing not to have that drink, taking time to journal instead of distract myself with trashy tv, admitting that I suck at discipline, giving up fast food, getting rid of stuff I don’t need, including physical clutter, and opinions of others.
Does this mean life is all business and no fun? Does this mean that grace is null and void? Does this mean that I can’t enjoy that Korean carbonated charcoal bubble mask? Absolutely NOT. It just means that it is important to get the big stuff right, and not use fun, or masks, or a glass of wine, or me time, or pizza, or even my lack of self-control disguised as “grace”, as my solution to a life that makes me unhappy.
As 30 quickly approaches, I’m feeling the urgency of getting life right. I don’t want to waste time with a life (that I have chosen to create myself ) that I want to escape from. I don’t want to feel worse any longer in the long term from the accumulation of quick fix decisions in the short term.
So what am I doing with the 90 percent of my life? What am I choosing to do every single day? My life is an accumulation of choices, and sometimes I forget who’s the boss. I am in charge of those choices. Say it with me “WE ARE IN CHARGE OF OUR CHOICES!” Haha. Sometimes I need to remind myself, I could be living in Africa at an orphanage if I wanted to. So there is hope in this revelation. The beauty lies in the fact that we are not tied to a life that we are unhappy to live. What’s even better…those self-care moments, feel all the sweeter, with the knowledge that they are the icing on the cake instead of the whole freaking meal.