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 expected to feel guilty about it. Everything in my life always needed to have a greater purpose, needed to be about others, about helping people and being compassionate. As a result I've never really been compassionate or understanding towards myself. I never felt good enough as a human being 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 upon the way self care is often portrayed as an excuse to go shopping or simply spend loads of money. That is not what self care is. There is a very important aspect of self care, especially amongst bloggers, that is not or rarely talked about, especially when it comes to those who struggle with their mental health.

The 'treat yo self' mentality

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, something very important that people forget about self care is that it's 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 fine, 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, your homework etc. A huge part of self care is about taking responsibility and 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.

Self care isn't easy

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 key. Believe me, I've cried many times. I would get up in the morning, get ready, do my makeup, clean my house and then as soon as I was done I would just 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 me and 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.

Right now, I can get through a day with a lot more ease, I plan all my meals once a week, I go to therapy every other one, I listen to educational podcasts, I challenge myself by participating to blogger events. Of course I still have days where I just want to wander around in my pj's and binge watch 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 those of you who are struggling. It breaks my heart when I see someone, who suffers from mental illness, not taking care of themselves. Please take care of your bills, go for a walk, stop hanging out with people who have no interest in your personal happiness, start a diary. It's okay to love yourself and to choose for you.

Self love VS. self care

Self care isn't as easy as doing the things you love to do, it's about showing how much you love you yourself too and that might be the hardest thing you'll ever do.