Alternative title: This post is brought to you by my duvet (aka the cocoon), a huge mug of builder’s style tea (because nothing says “bitch I got this” like strong sweet Yorkshire tea – yes I said Yorkshire tea! None of that Earl Grey shite! Brewtopia all the way!) and “I see Fire” by Ed Sheeran on repeat (everyone needs a battle song right? Whaddya mean “Eye of the Tiger” would have been better? Ed’s totally got my back! Right Ed? ED?!).
Recently I’ve been allowing the stressors of everyday life to get the better of me and, dearest reader, it is not a pretty sight when that happens. I binge on caffeine, I smush junk into my chops, I don’t sleep, my brain becomes an epic turd-bag, I end up with snotty sniffly lurgy and I push my body to breaking point while disobeying Wheaton’s Law with every interaction I have with it.
I throw myself face first into burn out. I allow it to happen.
And then, just like that, a moment of clarity happens … Usually when sat on the crapper with Anxiety squits or when a lack of judgement leaves you dangling by an ankle in Aerial Silks (sans squits) or, this time round, it was because I found myself watching some random show at 3am about plastic surgery going wrong as I seriously considered getting ass implants all the while emptying litres of snot from my nostrils (seriously, how much mucus can one body create?!).
Which is why I’m now taking time out; huddled in a duvet, drinking tea, music blaring with Sudocrem on my face* – yes I know Sudocrem is a nappy rash cream, no I don’t think it’s weird … Ok so maybe it’s a little bit weird. Not as weird as using Hemorrhoid cream on crows feet (not me personally, no really!) but still pretty weird.
Anyway, back to the point I started to make before I got distracted … My body has basically thrown an intervention and I’m forced to admit that I haven’t been listening to it as well as I should have.
My main focus shouldn’t have been work, work, work … I should have been ensuring my health was a-ok. Instead of going through the motions at exercise classes or traipsing around the hills I should have been paying attention to the moments when my body physically couldn’t take anymore, I should have made more of an effort to do more Yoga (I’ve been avoiding it in favour of lying in bed), water over coffee, veggies over fried crap, yada yada yada … I know what I should be doing.
We all know what we should be doing.
And while I concede that these are all jolly good ideas, I’ve come to realise that being too stringent in a pursuit of the perceived notion of self-care can be just as damaging. Having a healthy diet shouldn’t mean refusing yourself a cherry bakewell scoop of ice cream with a waffle cone (oh man, cherry bakewell ice-cream, so much love!), having an exercise regime shouldn’t feel like a chore (if you need a rest day take a rest day), yes meditation is an amazing idea (but have you ever tried forcing yourself to try it when suffering a migraine?) …
Sometimes self-care can be as little as remembering to take your meds in the morning, a nap in the afternoon or as full on as a spa day. It changes depending on what you need on any given day. And only you can determine what that will be.
It’s a moment by moment thing.
And in this moment … I think I need to doze.
So folks – what does self-care mean to you?
* For those who are curious – my Acne has responded really well to having Sudocrem masks in the evenings. I thought it was utter bullpoop too when it was suggested but after a recent outbreak (probably caused by the burn out) that I just couldn’t control I thought I’d give it a go. Guess my skin likes it … For now.