What does self care mean to you? Are they simply the golden buzzwords of our generation or is there some value to this notion?
I think that it is imperative to take care of yourself, so I will always encourage it. We know that a proper self care routine takes time, but usually we understand this and make the time to ensure the perpetuation of our wellbeing.
If I want to maintain healthy hair, then I will take the time to cleanse, condition, deep condition, sleep on silk to keep it soft , style it properly, and stay away from harsh products.
If I want to maintain healthy skin, then I will take the time to wash and moisturize my face, wear face masks, and be mindful of the type of makeup I wear.
If I want to maintain healthy teeth, then I will be sure to brush, floss, and go to the dentist when I need to.
If I want to maintain a healthy body, then I will most definitely take the time to eat fresh and nourishing foods and generally stay away from foods that are overly processed. I will exercise, drink more water, and get adequate rest.
The thing is, I know what I need to do to stay healthy, but it all comes down to the execution. I intentionally set aside time (sometimes a lot of time!) for these things because I’m worth it. I am worth the time and effort, and you are too! But know that it does take time and it does take effort. There’s no way around that.
The same is true for our mental health.
It grieves me because I don’t always have the courage to take the proper steps for optimal mental self care. For some reason, I have viewed my mental health as inferior to my physical health for serval years. I knew what I needed to do to take care of my mental health, but I didn’t always venture out and do it because I felt like it didn’t matter as much.
Evidently, I am breaking out of that crippling conception. I have come to the realization that my mental wellbeing is vastly significant and should be treated with the utmost care. If I need to retreat into the wilderness for a couple of hours just to clear my head, then I’ll do it. If I need to leave a scenario because it’s ultimately way too taxing on my mind, then I’ll do that. If things get a little too severe and I need to talk to a professional, then I will not be afraid to go and find one!
Why? Because my mental health is worth it. I’m worth it.
And you are too.
If you don’t glean anything else from this, here’s what I want to emphasize:
Do not be afraid to do what it takes for your mental health.
If you think you need medication, go seek that out. If you think you need a therapist, go get one. If you think you need a change of environment, change it up. If you need to make a lifestyle adjustment, go for it. If you simply need a chat with a close friend, call them up. Just take that first step! You deserve to be the absolute best version of yourself.
A word of caution: I am by no means telling you to ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps’. If you feel like you’re drowning and you need help, do not suffer alone and try to fix it by yourself. Go get help! But it takes great audacity to reach out, and that’s what I’m encouraging.
I am hopeful that we can progress toward a culture that is open and honest about various struggles in regard to mental health. We are certainly making strides, but we still have a long way to go. Let’s normalize the conversation and dilapidate the stigmas. Do not believe those pesky lies that you and your mind lack virtue. You are irrevocably and undeniably worth taking care of.