Self-care – what does it mean to you?
Oh, sure – the basics, food, clothes and shelter – but do you go beyond that? You should, we all should, and here’s why:
You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? I say it a lot, but only because it’s real and true and I never want you to forget – Life. Is. Short.
Can we please examine the self-care you give yourself, versus the care you give/show to other people?
That little voice inside your head, the one that nags at you, for some perceived wrong-doing, or maybe the act of simply “being” – the things you say to yourself – would you say them to someone else? Someone you care about? Someone you love?
I work in a really lovely office, with a small but awesome group of ladies. We are all genuinely nice people, but if you could hear some of the things we come out with on a daily basis, you would think we were a right bunch of harridans.
“Stupid cow!” “Oh you dozy bitch” “Another dumbass question!” And worse.
Here’s the thing. (Oh, there’s always a thing, you should know that by now) – we’re all talking to ourselves. Yet we would never DREAM of calling each other those names, even in jest.
We recently instigated a “No Self-Abuse” rule and if one of us slips and openly criticises ourselves in an unkind manner, the others gently point out that this is not on. It works, you know – we shouldn’t have to be reminded to be kind to ourselves, but hey, we’re only human!
Caitlin Moran explains this waaaaaay better than I can:
Pretend you are your own baby, You would never cut that baby, or starve it, or overfeed it until it cried in pain, or tell it it was worthless. Sometimes, girls have to be mothers to themselves. Your body wants to live – that’s all and everything it was born to do. Let it do that, in the safety you provide it. Protect it. That is your biggest job. To protect your skin, and heart.
Buy flowers – or if you are poor, steal one from someone’s garden; the world owes you that much at least : blossom – and put them at the end of the bed. When you wake, look at it, and tell yourself you are the kind of person who wakes up and sees flowers. This stops your first thought being, ‘I fear today. Today is the day maybe I cannot survive any more’, which I know is what you would otherwise think. Thinking about blossom before you think about terror is what girls must always do, in the Bad Years.
And the most important thing? To know you were not born like this. You were not born scared, and self loathing ans overwhelmed. Things have been done – which means things can be undone. It is hard work. But you are not scared of hard work, compared with everything else you have dealt with. Because what you must do right now, and for the rest of your life, is learn how to build a girl. You.
Okay, so I know that Caitlin is talking about self-care going a lot deeper than “hey don’t call yourself a twat in the office” or “put the kettle on and get your feet up” – but the message is the same, even diluted down to the more menial ways of self-care that don’t involve horticultural robbery!
Print this out and stick it somewhere prominent.
The message is, ultimately – you matter. Behave as though you believe this, even when you don’t.