The Stuff Behind Self Care

Read this article the other day about how self care has become associated with spending money to feel good about ourselves. And hey, sometimes, it works. I get a monthly massage to keep my back from falling apart. Expensive? Yep. Worth it? Also yes. I also enjoy skincare and makeup and manicures and all that stuff. I’ve had expensive gym memberships. BUT.  At it’s core, self care is not about the stuff. It’s about the less sexy things that are crucial to your mental health. For me, it’s the following:

  • Not making too many social plans in one week. As an introvert, I need solid recharge time. 1-2 times a week is great. Having something every other day — not so much. Therefore, I meticulously manage my Google Calendar
  • Reading at least an hour every day. Reading is truly therapy for me. I find it to be a meditative experience and I see a major difference when I’m not in the middle of reading a book on a particular day. Therefore, I ALWAYS have a book handy AND more books in the library queue for once I finish the current one.
  • Cutting out people who make me feel kinda crappy. There have been once great friends as well as social acquaintances over the years who I’ve hung out with out of a sense of obligation. Even if spending time with these people would leave me feeling drained and unhappy afterwards. I don’t believe that friend or acquaintance breakups need to be A THING. I think it’s obvious when something fizzles out. Self care for me involves letting this happen and to be okay with it.
  • Taking my anxiety/depression medication. For me, it’s a need and makes a massive difference in my well being. Nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Waking up early and working out at home (no $ required). Even if I don’t want to since I know I always feel great afterwards.

What are your mental health self care must haves?