Self-care: An Important Reminder
Hello friends! Today we have a special guest post by Joanna LK Moore from Twisted Sleeve. If you'd like to submit a guest post, I'd love to hear from you! Click here for more info.While for most people outside of the world of personal development, the idea of taking time out of your day to look after yourself might sound absurd, those of us who live in the world of personal development are so used to the concept of self-care that we actually feel shame when we don’t practise it.But, despite my being a lifestyle design junkie, and believing that looking after yourself is one of the most important things you can do, I often feel alienated by a lot of self-care advice. And I worry that I’m not the only one who feels like this.
THE PROBLEM WITH SELF-CARE ADVICE
Hopping from blog post to blog post, a newbie to the world of lifestyle design could be forgiven for believing that self-care consists solely of taking bubble baths, doing meditation, practising yoga, attending spa days, perfecting morning routines, and dressing in floaty, white clothing, and quickly decide that self-care isn’t for them.While most people in this world seem to appreciate beautiful language and calming photographs, I love advice that’s straight to the point and written in everyday language, with the odd joke thrown in. As a result, I often feel like blog posts about self-care aren’t meant for me and reading them is hard work.It’s the same with self-care practises. While most people who practice self-care seem to enjoy bubble baths and are calmed by meditation, I’m bored by those things. I’m better off with a colouring book and a pair of running shoes.Neither of us is wrong; we simply have different tastes. And that’s why I’m concerned - by using the same examples of self-care practices over and over again, this world is putting off people with different tastes. Rather than bringing more people to self-care, it’s pushing them away.It also puts pressure on us to persevere with practices that just don’t work for us. It leaves people like me feeling confused and sometimes even beating ourselves up when we just can’t get into practices which we “know” should work. It alienates some of us.While, deep down, we all know that self-care doesn’t mean meditation and massages alone, it’s worth reminding ourselves every now and then of what self-care actually means and that the forms it takes are as varied and diverse as we are.
WHAT SELF-CARE IS
Going back to basics, self-care isn’t about actions; it’s about feelings. Hannah explains this perfectly:“Self-care is not about taking yourself out for manicures, Columbian waxes or whatever the latest fashion trend is at the time of reading. It’s about meeting your needs.”Self-care is about giving yourself what you need to feel good. And while we’re all human and therefore all need the same basics – healthy food, water, movement, etc. – beyond that, we’re all different. Because we’re all different, what feels good to us all is different.While getting lost in a book might calm you down, it might agitate your ten-year-old brother. While your granddad might love gardening, instead of pulling out weeds, you might find yourself pulling out your hair. While painted nails might make your mum feel beautiful, they might just cause you to worry about accidentally scratching the paint off.Just as there isn’t only one way to be human, there isn’t only one way to do self-care.For me, self-care includes:
- Making things that I don’t need to make, like birthday cards
- Going for runs
- Giving myself permission to not socialise
- Colouring in
- Writing in my neatest handwriting
- Choosing to wear short skirts and make-up on some days and baggy jeans and hoodies on others
Your self-care routine will be completely unique to you and no one can tell you what it should look like. To find out what works for you, rather than reading about others’ self-care routines and copying their approaches, simply pay attention to what feels good to you. Ask yourself what you get excited about and what calms you down. Look to your interests for inspiration. Don’t just copy others’ ideas.So this is my plea: Don’t do something because you have heard that it’s good for you, or because it’s what all your personal development friends do. Do things because you know they’re good for you. Battling her British social awkwardness, Joanna L K Moore (Jo) runs Twisted Sleeve, where she helps shy girls get the confidence they need to do whatever they dream of doing. A multipotentialite through and through, Jo’s also a content manager, a support worker, an illustrator athey, there blogger, and a writer currently working on the second draft of a young adult novel. You can find out more about Jo here.Facebook: www.facebook.com/twistedsleeveTwitter: www.twitter.com/joannalkmoore