As I sit here, trying to stay low from social media on Election Day for my own mental health, it occurred to me that maybe that’s exactly what everyone else needs right now to: some good old fashioned self care.
If you know anything about me, or have read anything I’ve posted before, I have some strong opinions about self care. I feel like the term has been essentially stolen and reworked to mean a face mask, a big old glass of wine, and a hot bubble bath. Now, I’m not saying that right there isn’t exactly what you need sometimes, but it’s not the exclusive definition of self care.
If you hop on instagram, you’ll see that pretty much everyone has their own version of self care. Some will scream self care while noshing on Ben and Jerry’s on the couch, some will say self care is a healthy meal, a workout, and a shower, and some will preach that self care is doing some deep inner work to learn more about yourself. So who’s right? They all are, in a way.
Self care can’t be defined by one specific action because self care is essentially anything you need to fill up your energetic cup. Self care is about putting your own needs above the needs of everyone else, and being selfish. This selfishness isn’t a bad thing in this case, it’s actually incredibly selfless. When you prioritize your own needs, you take back control of your energy, stop any unnecessary energy leaks, and refill that cup. This allows you to have more energy to give to not only yourself, but also to the people and things that are most important to you.
It’s like an airplane oxygen mask. You’re very clearly instructed to put on your own mask before you put on anyone else’s, including your own child’s. Seems pretty selfish, right? Not when you think about the fact that putting on her mask first means that you may pass out while doing so, and neither of you have oxygen. You put on your own mask first to ensure that you can actually help her.
That’s how selfish to be selfless works in terms of self care too.
If you’re exhausted from following the election campaign trail, a night off of social media, some wine, and a face mask may be exactly what you need.
If you’ve been neglecting your own personal needs because you’ve been too panicked about the collective state of the world, a healthy meal, a workout, and a shower may be the perfect remedy for your energy.
If you’ve been realizing that there’s a lot that you have wrong about why our society runs the way it does, like a lot of us have been, some deep inner work connecting to your soul may do the trick.
Right now, you may need to set boundaries with yourself around your social media usage. You may need to unfollow certain people or pages that are making you upset, anxious, or worried. You may need to distance yourself from family members or even friends that are triggering you right now. These boundaries may be uncomfortable, but remember: you come first.
Especially today, be sure to take care of yourself. Be sure to protect your energy by being conscious of how you’re feeling. If you’re reading something that’s making your heart race and head spin, stop reading it. If you feel yourself starting to spiral into a panic attack, close your eyes and take three full and deep breaths.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need some extra love today, give it to yourself without guilt or hesitation. Don’t feel like you’re anything less than a normal human being if you feel like you can’t function right now. It’s a tough day, in a tough time, settled right smack dab in the middle of a tough ass year.
Ask yourself honestly, “what do I need right now?” And give it to yourself. You are worthy of putting your time and energy towards taking care of you and feeling good right now, even if the world feels like it’s falling apart. You can’t control the rest of the world, but you are in control of your own thoughts, feelings, and actions ALWAYS.
The best thing you can do is take care of yourself right now.
How are you going to show yourself some extra love today?