I recently read a great article on self care. As we discussed it briefly on FB, I summed up a friend’s commentary as “self care is setting yourself up for future success”.
Self care can be bunny slippers, hot baths, pedicures and long walks.
Yet more often these days I see self care as taking a nap when I realize I’m getting too tired. Forcing myself to take care of at least one practical thing per day. Eating healthy food as much as my energy levels can manage. Trying to keep my place organized and cleaned as I can so that when I want to do something I don’t need to clean or find things in order to do it.
The more prepared I am. The more organized things are. The easier everything else gets.
I am told that I am efficient.
I am not efficient (well, I am, but that’s not how I define it). I’m not, I’m lazy. I want to make the least amount of effort possible to make things happen because (sometimes) I’m lazy or (sometimes) I’m just too tired to be able to do more than the bare minimum.
Self care ties into efficiency. It says that since a lack of energy is typically part of the need for self care, the more efficient we can be, the less energy we will need. Then the better we will feel.
Fear and helplessness and anxiety and depression are also often behind the need for self care. If our lives, at a basic level, are being managed, then we will feel better.
This is not fun. It is not easy. It is not the joy of avoiding life in order to look after ourselves. It is recognizing that dealing with life is a necessary part of looking after ourselves.
Adulting is often self care.
We do not need to do this to the point of making ourselves crazy again. But making the effort to see ourselves fed? Rested? Rent and utilities paid? That means something less to worry about later.
That’s a nice way to look at it sometimes. To go, if I do this now, how much easier will it make life later? Matched by, if we’re too tired in the moment to handle things, can this thing wait until later until I have the energy to handle it?
Self care is about taking care of what’s necessary and recognizing that part of what is necessary is that we feel rested and healthy at the end of it. Which is why I say it is setting us up for future success. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole. But with some good choices when we can, we can set ourselves up for the best future we are capable of making for ourselves: tonight, tomorrow, and onwards.
The Abysmal Witch