Self-care, I almost hate writing those words today. They’re SO overused, it seems every other post on Facebook is something about a new clay mask you can get delivered to your door or how to put “self-care” into your day. But is it really self-care? Self-care is more than turning the TV off and sitting in a bubble bath.
I’m looking at self-care from a different angle entirely. I don’t care if you like bubble baths, meditation or petting your cat as forms of self-care I want to talk about the things in your life and how they relate to self-care.
The people, places, things and entertainment you surround yourself with are all aspects that show how you CARE about YOURSELF. Take a moment to think about what shape your bedroom is in right now. Is the bed made? Are your clothes put away? Do you have a weeks worth of water glasses on the bed-side table?
How you take care of this space is a direct reflection on the amount of care you’re giving to YOURSELF on a daily basis. Are your sheets old and not comfortable? Is your pillow on it’s last leg? All of these things are indicators of how much you value caring for yourself. At the least make your bed and put your clothes away. Having a cluttered space is indicative of having a cluttered mind or energy field. And I know it’s expensive to have the best pillow and the best linens, but what can you do within your means to make it feel like a sanctuary for yourself?
The same goes for the music you listen to. What are the lyrics about? What does the song sound like? Is it upbeat or really slow and melancholy? Are the lyrics divisive or derogatory or do they lift you up? I’m not saying you should stop listening to the songs you love, I am saying it’s really important to choose when you’re listening to them. And to understand how deeply they affect you. Listening to a bunch of “he done me wrong” type music while you’re starting to date differently and consciously isn’t going to allow you to get all the way there.
And now, people... People are the best way to keep your self-care level where you want it.
Allowing yourself to be surrounded by negative people will make it damn near impossible to have a positive outlook, feel good about yourself and your life and achieve what you want. This is especially hard if the person you are dating is chronically negative. Trust me, I’ve been there.
So how do you manage people in your life as a form of self-care? There are times when you can’t just escape others. You can’t quit every job the second you meet the negative nancy two cubicles down from you.
You need to start being responsible for who you’re letting in, and how far. Below I outline a few things to keep in mind as you make your relationships to others part of your self care.
You should absolutely never let anyone into your inner circle if they talk down about you, your dreams or your desires. This is a non-negotiable. If this is a family member, close friend or partner and they’re giving you shit for being YOU get the hell out. Yes you may have to see them from time to time but you can choose to keep them respectfully at arms length. There’s no need to be rude to them or to cut them off in a harsh or harmful way. Tell them that you are focusing on yourself, your needs and what you want out of life. You love them dearly but will need to limit your time with them if they’re going to constantly talk down about XYZ.
Working with someone doesn’t mean you have to let them ALL the way in. I have a lot of friends who have made good friends with co-workers. At some level I’ve always been a bit jealous, because I’ve always been more at arms length with the people I work with. Then I remembered advice my Mot