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Practical Self Care Tips

by Amy Collins
22.11.2018

Self-care is often seen as having baths and eating chocolate. Buying a magazine and turning off the world for a while. Going on holidays and treating yourself. We think this is how we should take care of ourselves because the world tells us it is. And sometimes this is true. Sometimes this is what we need. But sometimes this is yet another distraction sold to us under the guise of an attractive self-care routine. One that especially women should be listening to. And this is the realisation we got to when we stumbled upon an article written by Brianna Wiest.

She addresses this exact issue. She talks about how self-care isn’t always pretty and doesn’t always feel good. And to be honest it completely reshaped our approach to self-care from that day forward. What did we notice and what can we learn from this piece we found ourselves reading? Let us share some of her words and some of our thoughts.

“True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” Brianna Wiest

Often ‘self-care’ is a result of being so exhausted that we need to step away from the world for a while to feel better again. We want to take off on a holiday, we want to lock ourselves in our room and hide, and we want to take a week off work. But this tells us we didn’t do something somewhere along the way to end up here, exhausted, at the end of our tether.

So what could we do instead?

  • Set ourselves a budget and make sure we stick to it. Or work more to make ends meet. So we’re not left with no money at the end of the week or stressed out of our minds trying to make our finances work.
  • Get informed about your finances, tax, investments, how much you’re paying for things and how much you can actually afford.
  • Spend the extra time on the weekend making healthy meals so that when you get home tired you don’t eat cereal for dinner.
  • Realising that ‘treating ourselves’ with treats every day is detrimental to our health. Make it less regular and have the willpower to stick to that.
  • Getting up and going to the gym in the morning when you really don’t want to. And sticking with it the whole session even when it hurts. Because it makes you healthier and stronger.
  • Saying no to people who suck your energy. And being ok with going home instead. You don’t need an excuse.

“It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.” Brianna Wiest

Self-care has been trotted out as this sexy thing we do when we need to treat ourselves. We sit in robes eating chocolate. We drink cocktails and gossip. We’ve all seen these images. But often the real way we should be taking care of ourselves is looking ourselves in the mirror (figuratively) and getting really honest about what we’re doing that is helping and what’s hurting. The way we speak to ourselves the people in our lives.

How can we implement this?

  • Have you been making the same mistakes again and again and laughing it off? Do you need to be brave enough to say it’s time to do better?
  • It’s choosing to miss out on some things because your money, energy, time is better spent resting or saving. Even if you want to go or think you should go.
  • Do you let people walk all over you? Do you need to learn to stand up for yourself?

“It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.” Bianna Wiest

  • ­Stand up for your own rights. Don’t wait for someone else to save you.
  • Be brave enough to voice your opinion.
  • Get clear on what you want and need and not what others tell you want and need.
  • It’s not needing to look a certain way because we’re told to. It’s finding out how we can start to feel comfortable in our own skin regardless of what’s being sold to us.

True self-care is bravery. It’s being bold, honest, raw, and unapologetic sometimes. It’s curating your own life so that it feels good, not just following the crowd in the hope it will look good. It’s stepping up so that you can relax when you need to and not escape because you have to.