It’s Okay to Struggle with Self-Care
Posted by Hanna Foster
February 16, 2016
There’s currently an entire movement going on aimed at teaching people proper self-care. I think this is a great idea with great intentions; however, I find the saturation of this content to be a bit stressful at times.
I would argue that we are constantly being bombarded with lists and articles telling us how to best take care of ourselves. It seems sort of counter-intuitive to me. I’m stressing out about all of these articles telling me how not to stress out? I’m stressed out because I’m struggling to make time for these things that are supposed to cure me of my stress?
I’m here to tell you that self-care is more than just doing yoga and taking bubble-baths. (Don’t get me wrong, those things can work wonders, but it’s not the end-all-be-all cure to stress) Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal like it is made out to be. Everyone’s lives, schedules, and interests are different. What one person might consider relaxing, another might consider anxiety-inducing.
I’m not a scientist or a specialist. I’m not going to tell you how you should take care of yourself. I just want to tell you that sometimes it’s hard and I understand that.
I’m a full time student taking 15 credit hours (5 classes, 4 of which are advanced senior courses) with a part-time job AND my job here with URGE. I’m trying to prepare for graduation in May (Woohoo!) while also keeping my grades up, getting all of my assignments done-and done well (because being a journalism major is hard and it’s super easy to get burnt out from writing every. single. day.)- and still go grocery shopping, do the dishes, do laundry, and somehow make time to eat, sleep, and bathe.
Self care is currently a constant struggle for me. I know the importance of taking care of myself. I know that my sanity and health depend on it. But sometimes it’s hard! I find it hard to work a nice bubble-bath into my schedule when I feel like I hardly have enough time for a quick shower. I find it hard to make time for a 30 minute yoga session when I’m at school then work, from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm Monday-Friday. This shit is hard.
But I have found, for me at least, that it’s less about the physical aspects of self care, and more about the mindset I adopt. I don’t think it’s necessarily any easier, but it’s at least a technique that I’m able to adopt into my schedule. I try to walk to-and-from school in silence every once in a while. No music, no podcasts, just me and my thoughts. I allow time to plan ahead, pump myself up for the day, and squeeze in some positive self talk. Sometimes I’ll even take my 45 minute drive to work in silence, just to have some time to myself where I physically cannot do anything but sit there and think. Of course, sometimes (oftentimes) my anxiety slips in, and I just have to focus on controlling it and move on. (You are not your intrusive thoughts.)
Self-care is hard and there is not really any right way to do it. Take that bubble-bath, do some yoga, stay hydrated, clear your mind, and do whatever you need to do to manage your stress.