Ah, self-care. Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist, and I can only speak from my own experience. But in my experience, when the topic of self-care emerges in conversation, most of the suggestions revolve around doing a face mask, taking a bath, or binge-watching a series on Netflix. All of these activities are lovely and I do recommend partaking in them, but they do not offer long-term solutions to stress or accurately depict what self-care is really about. What do I do after I’ve rewatched the same television series multiple times or my skin prunes up from the bath or I run out of face masks?
Think of yourself as a pie. (I prefer blueberry.) The pie is divided into slices, and as the maker of the pie you have control over the size of each one. Hopefully, you have gathered by now that this dessert is a metaphor for life. One section of the pie might consider your interpersonal relationships, another section for physical appearance, another for your talents and hobbies, and another for everyday or work-related obligations, to name a few. You can tell if a pie is good based on how much effort and care was put into baking it. It wouldn’t make sense for a baker to put all of their time and energy into 1/4 of the pie and ignore the quality of the rest. This is how I choose to think about self-care. It’s about tending to each part of yourself, and acknowledging when some sections need a little more care than others. When all is said and done you can have your pie and eat it, too.
Here are a few legit, helpful, non-bullshit ways to practice self care that actually help.
2. Honesty- With people you love and with yourself.
3. Physical Movement - Moving in a way that is motivated by wanting to feel good, not look good.
4. A good cry, then a good laugh
5. Self-reflection: Think of a few things you like about yourself – there’s gotta be at least one!
6. Remove toxic people from your social media feed, and add useful ones
(this is effective in real life, too!)
Examples of positive instagram accounts to follow:
Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamilofficial): Actress, activist and self-proclaimed “feminist-in-progress” who is contributing to the body positivity movement with her @iweigh initiative that highlights beauty beyond physical form.
Lizzo (@lizzobeeating): Rapper, hip hop artist, and self-love activist. Most of her songs are about loving herself for who she is – it’s hard to listen to her music and not feel great.
The Blurt Foundation (@theblurtfoundation): Nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to creating humorous and helpful content for people dealing with depression.
The Lily (@thelilynews): Publication from The Washington Post, named after the first newspaper written by women. It’s a great platform to stay informed about public issues from a feminist perspective.
7. Most importantly, acknowledge what “health” means for you .
(and know it won’t look the same for everyone).