I’ve been wanting to explore this topic for a long, long time.
Since we all like to talk about self-care and being good to ourselves, this post will hopefully take us deeper and further in the discussion of how to be kind to our bodies and minds.
What do you think of when you hear someone talk about self-love?
Does your mind go to massages, shopping sprees and candles? Or do you think about journaling, hiking and prayer circles?
Those are all very nice things but it’s not enough to just buy a new shirt every time you are sad.
We have to look inside the wound and do what is necessary to heal it.
Massages and movie marathons are just a bandage – trust me, I would know. I tried to substitute therapy and medication with movies and dying my hair every time shit got too heavy to carry for years.
The real work of self-care is often painful and challenging. What will heal us, or move us in the direction of healing, is not going to be easy and pleasurable.
If you are hurting and carrying the weight of heartbreak with you for decades, it is impossible to make it go away with 5€. You have to do the work!
Instead of having sleepovers with your friends because you think friendship will cure it all, go to a therapist and go through each problem together with someone who knows how to approach the issues.
Instead of smelling essential oils and smoking weed, go to a psychiatrist, talk to them and get the right medication for your diagnosis.
Instead of reading a self-help book, join a therapy group where you can talk to people who are in the same boat as you are.
Instead of watching Friends, invest in a quality CBT or DBT workbook and go through it every single day (I wrote a review of the first CBT workbook I bought here).
I know self-care sounds prettier when you are imagining it all in pink and sparkly and shiny, but the dark alley you sometimes have to enter hides the best treasures in the end.
Let’s put it that way.
If you want to truly make progress you will have to do the hard work. If you want to mask your problems and avoid them, go and buy another candle.
I am not saying this because I have it all figured out. Oh goodness, far from it. I am actually sharing this with you because I am doing that right now.
This is written for both of us because we are taught that self-care is about the easy stuff that feels good – all the books talk about it. But we are not benefiting from that message.
The authors of these beautifully written yet highly misleading books are making money but we are not getting better. If candles, essential oils and new pants worked, we wouldn’t be so suicidal and mentally ill.
It’s time we start digging for gold because it’s not going to come up by itself.
We got it.