“I hate self-care blog posts.” – One person ever. Aka me.
Holistic wellness is my favourite topic in the world, especially when content is curated by specialists in the field. What rattles me, however, are well-meaning bloggers, flowing into the mental-health-mainstream together with little awareness of their reach.
What needs raising is that there is no quick fix to feeling inadequate.
Candles don’t fix your mood. Neither do freshly laundered sheets, gratitude lists, or phone calls to grandma. Those are coping strategies; things that pass the time and maybe inflate your ego and provide a false sense of security. Also, not to make light, but financially speaking, if I buy a perfectly ripe avocado I am certainly not going to waste it on face or hair masques.
So to be realistic, let us consider the people whose first thoughts (or words) are “I hate my life” or “I need a break”. Stuck in a slump all day, with teeth unbrushed and messages unread. Anxiety-riddled humans are waking up most mornings rushing to the bathroom with nausea, and sleeping it off the rest of the day. Most of the mental health blog posts I see online seem to be written by people who don’t experience these daily routines.
In an effort to change the dialogue, here is a hit list of what to do to take care when you really need it:
- Set 3 (daily) alarms. Each 2 minutes apart from each other. Even if you have nowhere to be, this routine is crucial. It might lead to you napping again at 10:30am or 1pm, but in time it will form a habit.
- Have an undercover stretch. Wringing out your waist with a twist, interlock your arms above your head, maybe arch your back, sliding your shoulder blades together to open your chest. This will unlock any tension and your body will embrace a jolt of energy.
- Take a seat (on the toilet). Your body is holding onto toxins, churning day old food over, which releases gases and other elements into your system. There is an emotional benefit that comes from releasing such baggage.
- Open the window for fresh air. If it’s the only exposure to nature you’ll have today, it is enough. It’ll also circulate any stale air you’ve been sitting in for the past days.
- Try and stomach something. Make toast, grab some sliced ham or a banana. Our bodies are taking unconscious actions throughout the day for us without the need of our brains. We’re being productive without even trying! High five.
People shouldn’t need pressure to be their own best caretakers. One of the biggest reasons people need self-care these days is due to a consistent feeling of inadequacy. This 9-5 routine was created by mankind, but that doesn’t mean as humans we are naturally programmed to fit self-care into times convenient for business hours. Nature is all-encompassing and uncontrollable, and we need to learn to nurture people back to health.
So rather than recommending a 5-minute miracle routine, do consider the realities of mental health. The people most likely searching for tips are starting their days off under very different circumstances.
If anyone knows of any helpful blogs and would like to share with readers, please feature them in a comment.