Life has a funny way of hitting you where it hurts but your mind and body hit you when you can’t hit back.
In the last week, while running around and living my life, my mind cracked. It wasn’t one particular thing. It wasn’t from trying to do or be too much but rather because I wasn’t being. I was doing. I was running, trying to race time, trying to out race myself. The body always has a way to remind you that you need to slow down and take time for yourself and while I fought to keep doing, I finally had to stop.
I was tired, I was moody, I felt like I needed 10,000 coffees to keep going.
After a few weeks of non-stop working, needing to achieve something everyday, I finally sat at home and did something relaxing, for me. My own form of relaxation. Sitting at home by myself, flicking through ELLE Australia, trying to find some inner calm, a few words stuck. Elle McClure, the magazines Culture Director, wrote that in 2020 she wanted to see “The demise of the term ‘self-care’.”
I agree with her.
The self-care movement has taken over social media and has become a term used with both reverie and ridicule. For some, they see it as hiding from problems behind bubble baths and face masks while for others it’s a form of healing. According to Everymind, self-care is defined as “activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress.”
Everyone has an activity that helps them relax and feel centred again but in this wellness focused world, it’s become more and more of a social media highlight. I only squeeze in my “self-care” rituals when I can find a minute or two to spare, usually doing something else more productive at the same time, rather than enjoying it completely.
Everymind also states that “Self-care can also be about processing emotional reactions to our life and doing things that we might find difficult, like asking for help.”
So my question is: why are we placing our emotions on the back-burner, ignoring our health and only looking at them when it’s trendy?
Life is busy, you can’t escape that. However, we also need to stop playing into the idea we always need to be busy and on the move. Yes, work towards your goals, grind and grow into the person you want to be, but also remember, as author Rick Warren once said, “We are human beings, not human doings.”
Self-care shouldn’t be a hashtag or meme, it should be a way of life. People need to put their physical and mental health first . If we can learn to apply sunblock everyday to protect our skin, why can’t we learn to integrate self-care into our everyday life to protect our minds?
If I’m honest, the term “self-care” should be removed from our vocabulary and be replaced with “living life.”
I want to look at my emotions and health when I need it, not when I burn. Even if sometimes its scary.
Love, Erin xx