For 8 weeks, anxiety and burn out almost got the better of me and I was facing a difficult time handling them despite the fact that I was already working from home for the past year but the constant 24/7 on call was not giving me time to breath or rest.
During those 8 weeks, my physical health worsened, dark circles and unhealthy skin come hand in hand now and I don't remember the last time I did something for myself and only for me as a form of self care.
The only way I was to get through this is to find out what works for me and what doesn't, I had to find a way to create balance again or at least try.
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It started in 2011 when I was introduced to self development books and that was an eye opener. I was amazed by the content and how it helped me become a better person. More importantly was that in every book I read (Noting that I was still an 11th grader then) had something to do with ones self not the surroundings. WE WERE IN CHARGE. WE WERE THE ONES WHO MADE IT HAPPEN.
That's when it sparked, i started looking at myself differently after years of hating few things and blaming it on surroundings. I started to be aware and look around. I found myself and since then I barely remember the time before that.
I tried to explore self care but had it mixed up with different things and it overlapped sometimes with others aspects.
I kept reading more about it but it wasn't that big of an issue 8 years ago. I started implementing the concepts of the book "The secret' and surprisingly it worked. My faith was revived. Then I took it upon myself to give myself mini gifts as reminder for self love.
My Valentine's day gift idea originated here. I would go shopping and buy something for myself first it was like a small teddy bear or a snow globe then it became more special and I learned to focus on what I want so I would gift myself something more valuable.
For years people have been making fun of the fact that I give presents to myself but that did not stop me, as matter of fact it made me more determined to change how they think about it as it seems they don't find it essential to take care of themselves.
People would see its selfish but that wasn't the case. I wanted to love myself and this was a step that helped me along the way and it's a feel good reminder to keep me going. Taking care of myself was not selfish neither a luxury, it was a necessity.
Somewhere along the road I actually started doubting myself and whether it's selfish or not so I took the time to read more about it and keep an open mind. Eventually I ended up being assured that it was not selfish and I did not care about what others said as long as it made me happy.
I am in charge.
In college, self care took place as pampering myself and aromatherapy. These two made me feel so relaxed that I wouldn't care about anything else during that time so I made the most out of it. I remember the night before a midterm I had in fourth year, I was so stressed from the amount of content I still have to cover, that I left everything, got off the table and pampered myself with an hour of aromatherapy. I got back afterwards to study, covered all the content, even slept early and aced that exam. It worked.
I wasn't the type of girl who would take care of herself before, go to the nail salon or go beauty products shopping however there was a tiny part of me that was and I let it shine throughout the years.
I loved buying them and trying them out then I found myself more interested about natural products and the ingredients so I started learning more about them. Now I'm always on the verge of trying remedies and finding what works for me or not.
Over the past 3 years, I learned when to stop and when to keep going. That was a tough lesson as it came after years of driving myself to the edge and now anxiety is taking part of it. So I learned my lesson. Self care was more than the above. It was learning when to take a break, when to keep pushing, when to pause and breath, my priorities and what kind of people I want to be surrounded with. As well as the habits and triggers that drove me this way. Self care was taking a gap year and enjoying every bit of it (I would do it over and over again if I get the chance again) that helped me become ready for adulthood, practical life, enjoy what I do and choose what only helps me grow and make me feel alive.
I started making changes and prioritizing myself. Then I became a better person.
I am no longer always burnt out and drained, instead I value my own time and work on myself for a better energized me.
Self care is not wasted time nor a luxury.
Self care is giving the world what's best of you instead of what's left of you.
You can't pour from an empty cup so rekindle your fire and change that mindset.
SELF CARE IS FOR EVERYONE.
Make yourself, your family, your spouse, your friends more aware. Raise your children to prioritize themselves and knowing the fine line between self care for a better person not selfishness. Give yourself a chance, you deserve it! It's Okay.
Thank you for reading this post! Let me know do you think self care is a necessity for you or a luxury?
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