Growing up, I’ve always been very good at self-care. I’d always put effort into maintaining a healthy weight. I never went to work or school without makeup and always made sure I looked presentable. I wouldn’t go to sleep without doing a 10 step skin care routine and wouldn’t leave the house if even one of my nails had chipped nail polish. I’ve been pretty consistent with my self care routine until 2016.
Without going into detail, 2016 was a rough year both physically and mentally. I think we all experience stress here and there and would manage it along the way, but when stressful situations start mounting up, it could start to feel unbearable. I always thought that I handled stressful situations fairly well and never had issues of it affecting my well being until 2016. It’s worse when you let pride get in the way and convince yourself that you’re not weak and could handle everything.
To this day, I’m still trying to relearn all the old habits I worked so hard to maintain and get rid of the bad habits I took on just within the past year. Self care is often the first thing to be sacrificed when things become busy or stressful. It’s perceived to be something associated with luxury. How many times have we told ourselves “Once I have more money/free time/finish this or finish that is when I’ll start focusing on myself”.
I’ve noticed my body, skin, self esteem and over all well being take a toll ever since I’ve stopped putting consistent effort into taking care of myself. It’s not just the superficial things like skin care and nails. It’s putting aside time for your physical health and mental well being. Last night was the first time in a very long time when I forced myself to put away my phone and instead, lit a candle and read a chapter of a book for an hour. It was very relaxing to be able to tune out from the world and to enjoy a moment to myself.
The conversation about self care and meditation is bigger than ever before, especially since social media was introduced. During high school, I didn’t spend most of my time looking at what others did on social media. I only had Facebook (when it wasn’t very intricate) and MSN messenger. Even into university, I didn’t use Facebook on a consistent basis. Thinking back to how my time was spent, a lot of it was for working on homework, getting chores done or for hobbies and self care. Now with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and everything else, we’re so connected and tuned in, that we’ve tuned out of ourselves.
I think that’s why we feel like we have way less time and feel more stressed because so much of our time is put into watching what’s going on around us and not enough time is put into taking care of ourselves. Now that my house, school and my workplace is settling in, I’m forcing myself to make time for self-care. I want to continue to build on the my self-care habits and to continue to improve my daily routine.
2017 has been an eye opening experience so far, where I’ve really focused on investing most of my time into things that bring me pure joy and comfort. I’ll continue to blog about recovering my old self care habits along the way. I’ve realized that self care directly affects my mood, how efficient I am, how confident I feel and how happy I am. When I don’t put time aside for myself, I don’t feel like I’m consistently performing at my best everyday. For any of you who are also struggling with self care or are looking to improve your current habits, I’d love to hear some of your tips in the comments below!
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