When people think of self care we think of the whole package, mind, body, and soul, but I want to take a moment to focus just on the mind portion of this trinity. Why do people “Self-Care”? To relax? To momentarily rid yourself of a stressful day? To not take your work home with you? To protect your mental stability? All of these are great reasons, however most of these reasons are temporary reasonings to “self-care” for a brief moment. “Self-Care” tactics are also often brief or short-term activities to provide a temporary lapse from a stressful moment/event. Shopping, getting your nails done, having a spa day, meditation, sleeping in, cooking, baking, etc. Anything one person may find enjoyable that will take their mind to a peaceful place. Well, how many people actually “Self-Care” to heal. I mean the term itself implies to care for yourself, and well as long as you are alive on this earth why wouldn’t you constantly and routinely take care of yourself. The term isn’t brief-care or moment care. I myself didn’t understand ‘till very recently that i needed some actual self-care and that spending my hard earned cash on a full set that lasts two weeks wasn’t actually fixing the problem. It took plenty of trial and error of different self-care regimens but I think I’ve found a pretty accurate solution. Before I share, I’d like to give a short insight into two things that have caused me a lot of stress and then I will share my self-care solution. These two things (which I’m sure you will find can cause stress in your life as well) are romantic relationships, and familial relationships.
The first relationship I want to share is the romantic relationship. I have been spending quite a bit of time with a man that I have grown to have some pretty strong feelings for. He made me smile, the chemistry was out of this world, and I felt more wanted, attractive, respected, and hopeful than I had in a while. However, like any romantic relationship, it had some barriers. Two different races, two different backgrounds, two different cultures, and two different religions. Just two very different people who seemed to work...for now. In the beginning of us talking I had kept in the back of my head that this wasn’t going to be something long term, we’re just too different. That this relationship would simply be only fun. However, the more time I spent with him, the more I let my walls down, and let my heart take over. I began to be hopeful that maybe he was feeling as I was, and that we could make it work in the end. My feelings for him and the thought of our relationship became very stressful for me and though I did everything to keep myself busy and not think about it too much; I always found my thoughts and stress right back where they left off.
The second relationship, my familial relationship, was one that often affected me. The relationship between my father and I. My mother passed when I was 7 yrs old and when she passed my dads mind and spirit went with her. Our relationship began to weaken over the years. I harvested a lot of hurt and anger, and that only led to years of spurts of stress, keeping my distance, and moments of unhappiness that couldn’t be explained.
These two relationships led me to explore various pathways of self care. They occupied my thoughts more than work or bills or any thing else. I shopped, i took long drives, drew, wrote poetry (my ultimate outlet) but the only thing that made me feel better was COMMUNICATION. Telling both my father and my love interest how I truly feel. Expressing my feelings without filter or worry.
Self-Care came in the form of being true to what was really bothering me and expressing it. Taking care of your mental state does not come with temporary lapses of elation. It comes with facing what is bothering you head on. Being honest with yourself, allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to address the problem. Self care is healing, because you must care for yourself daily.
By Jewell Copeland