The truth about self-care

In today’s quick-paced world, in which social media is so prominent, perfect photos on social media can paint a very tainted picture of reality. Because social media like Instagram often display a compilation of highlight reels (pun intended), it may (unintentionally) romanticize life. We think it’s important to have honest conversations, keeping things raw and real. Therefore, today we want to talk about self-care.

Especially during the last year and a half, a lot of us have suddenly found ourselves working from home, with our day-to-day routines shaken up, and personal life and work life may have started to blur into each other. For others, this time might have meant work was busier than ever before. No matter what applies to you, self-care has become even more important than before.

Oftentimes when people think about self-care, they think about running a bath for themselves, taking time to shave (which is always your choice of course), a pamper treatment with a face mask (the actual cosmetic one, not the COVID one), lit candles, healthy food and mindfully sipping on cups of herbal tea. These are the images that we scroll past on socials. However, what you often don’t see, and what’s definitely also harder to capture in a photo, are the processes going on in the background, the harder things that we may not talk about so easily.

Picture by @greykins on Instagram

Self-care doesn’t just stop at the things above, which are mainly about taking care of your body. There’s a lot of self-care that just takes place in your head, your home and your relationships with other people.

It can be

  • saying no to a project you would love to take on, but that you don’t have the capacity for at the moment
  • setting boundaries and taking a break from people that you do care about, because seeing them is doing you more harm than good at the moment
  • taking a day off for your mental health because you are exhausted, and continuing at your current pace will only wear you out in the long run
  • finally taking the time to make an appointment at the dentist to take care of your body, or at the psychologist to improve your mental health
  • eating intuitively, listening to what your body needs instead of strictly sticking to a specific number of calories to get to your ideal weight and an unrealistic body shape
  • deliberately taking the time to work on projects that you love and that give you new energy and inspiration instead of continuing to scroll on Instagram
  • not beating yourself up for not being productive 100% of the time and allowing yourself time to rest and just exist
  • being mindful of your energy levels throughout the month and adjusting your plans accordingly
  • focusing on being healthy, adjusting and healing, instead of bouncing back as quickly as possible after pregnancy

Even something as simple as decluttering your living space or taking a nature walk can be taking care of yourself. Self-care may look different for every person, but overall it’s about being nice to yourself, accepting who you are and talking to yourself as you would to a good friend, because you deserve to be treated well

And yes, self-care can be messy, time consuming and extremely challenging at times, but by taking good care of yourself you enable yourself to grow into the best version of yourself. As Valeria Lipovetsky phrased it under her Instagram post earlier this year, “self-care may be disguised as face masks and pints of ice cream but, in reality, self-care is a conscious daily effort between who you are today and the person you want to become”.

Let’s get some inspiration and support from each other! What does self-care look like for you? Are there any tools that have helped you keep up self-care lately or has it been pretty hard? Let us know in the comments below or on Instagram!

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