What Is Self Care Anyways? Or, the “Right Way” Isn’t Always the Right Way For You

What Is Self Care Anyways? Or, the “Right Way” Isn’t Always the Right Way For You

Posted by Amy Zhang on

We’re about two weeks into the year, which means we’re right around the point where resolutions start to lose steam. Our snooze buttons start seeing a little more action, our gyms are a little less packed each day, our wait in the Starbucks drive-through gets a little longer again. There’s plenty of advice out there on resolutionsgoal setting, and creating successful long-lasting habits, so I won’t delve into those right now (I’m hardly an expert, anyways).

But, as an adult human woman who has had access to “women’s interest” magazines (not to mention, the internet) for a couple decades now, I know how easy it is to fall into making “the usual” list. Eat better. Work out more. Lose weight. Save more money. Drink less coffee. Etcetera, etcetera. 

Joe and I have been talking at length about SHOULDS lately, and these types of resolutions are exactly that. It’s not that we don’t want to do those things, but there’s also a lot of external influence to want to want to do those things. Case in point — a goal centered around self care starts with a desire to be more in-tune with yourself, and quickly turns into a regimented 12-step skincare routine that you have to power through for your own good (please, I just want to go to bed).

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Every single one of us is different. What energizes us, relaxes us, or fills our cup is different. And same goes for what feels out of alignment for us. I spent a long time feeling guilty that I wasn’t taking “enough” time off from the business, because I was told so often that I should give myself more breaks. I know the people who said that meant well, because they care about me, and they care about my wellbeing. And because of that, I would feel like I was letting them down by choosing to work more, or that there was something wrong with me because I not only couldn’t separate myself from my work (I was a one-woman-show for years, after all), but also because… I kind of didn’t want to?

As I write this, it is 9:36 PM on a Sunday. I’ve been on the couch, watching football games and working on website updates and blog posts for basically the whole day. And I know that, to a lot of people, that might seem like I’m leaning too much into hustle culture. Or that I’m not prioritizing my down time. Do I work through every weekend? No. Are my “self care days” sometimes just staying home on a weekday so I can watch TV while I do admin work and also fit a nap into the middle of the day? Absolutely.

Maybe this is how you like to go about your days as well. Maybe you prefer a more definitive separation between your work day and your relaxation time. Maybe you unwind by going out to socialize (note: this is absolutely NOT me). Again, we’re all so different. And I’m not here to tell you how to set your goals. Or what a self care day should look like for you. Or how many steps should be in your skincare routine. I’m just here to remind you that it doesn’t have to look a certain way. ♥

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