Google the term “self-care” and a variety of topics will come up. At home spa-treatments, workouts, playlists for calming anxiety, and more.
Now do not get me wrong, I am a fan of a face mask and a nice glass of wine. A Target trip. That sometimes is my version of self-care. But, in this season self-care has looked a lot different for me, and I think its important to understand the concept in a deeper way- not just in terms of instant gratification.
My first few months in Nashville were a B L U R of fun, travel, adventure and coffee. I think it was about a month ago that I realized that I am tired. How funny is that? Not just “I need a nap” tired. But like “wow my bones hurt, I’m weary and I want my Mom” tired.
I was saying YES to everything, thinking that caring for myself meant allowing myself to have tons of fun. Sound familiar to some of you? Something tells me it does.
I went on three trips, bought all the coffee I could get my hands on, spent Saturdays in Vinnie Louise buying new shoes, and filled my calendar with nights (even week nights, GASP) out with friends.
But that truly couldn’t last. My bank account was laughing at me, I came down with a weird virus, my clothes were all dirty, I had three overnight bags halfway unpacked on my floor, and my roommates hadn’t seen me in weeks.
So I stopped. I stopped saying yes. And that’s when I learned the truest, hardest, and most important version of self-care.
I said no to multiple concert tickets.
I said no to eating out.
I said no to glasses of wine.
I said no to shopping (seriously. I haven’t bought ANY new clothes since July).
I said no to social media on certain days of the week.
I said no to circles of friends that made me feel bad about myself.
IT IS HARD.
Through the nights at home cooking alone, re-wearing outfits instead of buying new ones, deleting apps off of my phone, less invites to parties/events and more time spent asking myself tough questions, I realized sitting with yourself in rest is HARD.
I learned a few things about myself. Want to hear them? Maybe you can relate.
- My default way of dealing with a bad day was buying something. Whether it was a quick trip to Target or a full blown shopping spree, I numbed out with spending money. Because that was how I thought I could cure some sadness.
- I used wine (or alcohol in general) as a social tool. Something to hold in my hand at a party, something to ease awkward situations.
- I lose a LOT of time to social media. I’ll hop on to scroll instagram and suddenly 20 minutes have passed and all I know is that “so and so” got a new manicure.
- I lose a LOT of my self confidence because of social media. Whether its realizing a post didn’t get as many likes as I wanted, or seeing pictures that make me feel like my life is subpar, my happiness was disappearing as the posts scrolled by.
- I’m a YES gal. I will say yes to all of the plans, events, concerts, parties and girls nights. Because I want to make you happy. I want you to know I value you and our friendship, so I’ll say yes. I’ll be there. I’ll have a blast. But sometimes I resent my responses. But you’ll never know (until now, yikes!)
- I hold onto friendships just because it feels like the right thing to do. Even if the friendships make me feel bad about myself. I’m sometimes drawn to toxicity, I guess.
Talk about the summer of self discovery, huh? It’s not been super fun, but I can honestly say that leaving Auburn in May I was more lost than I’ve ever been. Sad, disgusted, and bitter over some things that happened literally the weekend before I graduated. I didn’t celebrate as well as I should have. I just cried and ran as fast as I could. So some hardcore self-care was needed. As hard as it was, I deserved it.
So I said no a lot. But because I said no, I said yes to a few other things. Like:
I said yes to cooking. Lots of cooking.
Nothing fancy. Lots of turkey sausage, sweet potatoes and protein ball recipes. (if you want my fave….ask)
I said yes to finding fun, sometimes weird, ways of wearing old clothes new ways.
Sweater+ Overalls= kinda weird, kind of fun.
I said yes to figuring out my enneagram number and really digging into it.
I’m a two, in case the rest of this post didn’t give that away.
I said yes to being intentional with my time with friends.
Less “lets go shopping” and more “lets go for a walk and actually talk”.
I said yes to learning how to use social media in a real life way.
More vulnerability, more of the real me. More “unfollows” (sorry not sorry). More cheering on my gals who are doing good stuff. Less “skinny mini” comments, checking the number of likes, obsessing over if my ex-boyfriend was dating someone new. (He is. Guess what? I’m fine. BIG MOOD. Proud moment.)
I said yes to thinking long and hard before buying anything.
I got a library card. Spending money on books adds up. I realized it QUICK and also have seen my bank account stabilize because library books are FREE.
But most of all, I said yes to being ok with where I am in this exact moment.
My definition of self care now, one month in, is realizing where you can improve, taking steps to get there….but loving the you that exists today.
Tired? Take a nap, but don’t sleep all day. Need coffee? Awesome, get a coffee but can you make it cheaper? Mad? be mad but journal it out instead of taking it out on your Mom (sorry, Lisa). Having a bad day? Admit it, but don’t sit in it.
I think we all can relate to this. I think a lot of us are doing this. The hard work to be the people we KNOW we can be. I see it. I’m cheering you on- always. I’m on your team and I’m struggling through it too. But its worth it. And I’m not perfect- but on the other side of one month I see that it’s possible to do good work. Self Care done RIGHT.