Something that has been very close to my heart, ever since I started going to therapy, is self care. Growing up I didn't know what self care was, I wasn't allowed to practise self care and when I did I was called an egoist and expected to feel guilty about it. Everything in my life always needed to have a greater purpose, needed to be about other people, about helping people and being compassionate. As a result I've never really been compassionate or understanding towards myself, I never felt good enough and I thought I didn't deserve anything. In fact, when I would be kind to myself the guilt would be so extreme that I would either become sad or angry, or both. Through therapy I'm finally learning that self care is okay and that it is in fact a necessity. Today, I want to touch on the way self care is often turned into this 'let's watch movies all day', 'let's buy a new perfume', 'let's order loads of take out' type of thing. There is a very important aspect of self care that is not or rarely talked about, especially when it comes to those who struggle with mental health.
I love going through self care lists online, I love reading how other bloggers practise self care and I think it is awesome that more and more people are starting to talk about mental health. However, I do find that something very important people forget about self care is that it's also about creating healthy habits and eventually finding balance in your life.
Trying the newest bath bomb or buying that one pair of shoes you've been eyeing for ages is great, but self care is also about simply getting up in the morning, shower, have breakfast, do yesterday's dishes, be sure you're on top of your laundry ... A huge part of self care is about taking care of yourself by taking care of the environment you live in. I'm sure some of you would disagree that doing household chores is an act of self care, but if I told you about the amount of times I've gotten a phone call from someone, in a state of total panic, because their laundry hasn't been done in months and their kitchen is covered in flies, you would somewhat understand.
Being someone who suffers from depression and anxiety I know how difficult it can be to get out of bed in the morning, shower, put on some clothes and make yourself a nice meal, but creating healthy routines is the key to recovery. Believe me, I've cried many times. I would get up in the morning, get ready, do my makeup, clean my house etc. but then as soon as I was ready I would start balling. I felt like there was no point, I didn't have anywhere to be, I felt desperate and overwhelmed. I would sit in my sofa, look at my clothes, look at my beautiful house and cry. The thing is, because I knew creating a routine was essential for my mental health, I kept on going. Every day I would get ready and every day I would feel better for just that little bit longer. After a while I started to figure out what was good for me, what worked for me and where I needed help. I started setting goals. Today I can get through a day with a lot more ease. Of course I still have days where I just want to wander around in my pj's and binge watch a series, but they aren't as frequent anymore and I strongly feel as if those days have a different meaning now and are done with a different intention.
I'm not here to tell you the way you practise self care is wrong, I just wanted to shed a little light and maybe help some of you out who are struggling. I have someone very close to me (who suffers from a mental illness) that spends her days and nights sitting in the couch stuffing herself with junk food, to then tell me how she's not feeling so great. I want to share my tips with her but I'm not sure how to. If I were in her shoes I'd feel even more guilty or even angry, with advice like this, so I decided to write this post instead, to spread awareness. Self care is journey for everyone and .. taking care of yourself sometimes just isn't as easy as doing the things you love to do, it's about showing how much you love yourself too.
Want to know what I do with my life besides blogging? Take a look on my Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all at joliennathalie! I host self care parties, tour my house, cook, declutter and show exclusive behind the scenes footage! You're welcome ;)