I wanted to write a little post about self-care. At uni, the environment where I am in and the people I am at uni are all very extroverted and we all go to the gym and run together and its all very social. Usually, this is a very good thing and I love it. But a day like today, where I almost feel a bit in recovery – as in, I’ve had some bad days where things haven’t been getting done or I haven’t looked after myself in the way I should, I just need some time to recoup.
So I had a little mental list of things I would like to get done today:
- Bath, where I could exfoliate and moisturise and take care of myself after a few days of ignoring the way I look through lack of effort.
- Revise, this has taken a bit of a backseat to many other things and it’s stressing me out.
- Tidy and pack ready for going home, I knew I needed to start doing this, I haven’t spent any time in my room because it’s messy. I do not class myself as an always tidy person in particular – but when it’s messy it makes me agitated.
- Make a really good meal with the salmon in my freezer.
- Work out
So off I go, have a cup of tea, relax and then run a bath. And in running a bath I get told my friends are going to the gym, and asked if I am coming.
BOOM EXERCISE GUILT. Everyone else. Going to the gym. Arm day. Am I coming.
It’s on the end of the list for a reason, I didn’t see it as a priority today. But as soon as it’s mentioned I feel like I should, as I know other people are and I’m afraid other people think I should (anxiety sucks balls).
I experience this a lot, and it’s not always from the influence of others, but social media too. For quite some time, I followed a lot (I mean about 50) different fitness and weight loss pages on Instagram. Some of personal trainers, some progress sights, some people losing weight or struggling with weight loss and so on. And everyday every time I looked at them, morning day and night. If I had exercised that day, I’d feel proud of myself, that I’d joined in. Or if I hadn’t, the guilt started and the more I looked at them, the worse it got. Even if I was having a day off, or I feel like I didn’t try hard enough as them, and the most blatantly obvious – I don’t look like them. *sigh*
Now, I’m talking about this in terms of a ‘recovery day’. But it’s even more extreme on a dark day, on a day where I struggle to get motivation to do anything like make food or shower, let alone drag my huge ass out the house… so what do I do? I pretty much spend the whole day on social media and feel all poop.
I have been told many many times, if you feel down, exercise – it helps. It releases endorphins and feel good hormones and it helps as acts as a natural anti-depressant. So its the big go to – feel shit? Work out, even if you don’t want to, you will feel better afterwards. Fight against all the feelings you’re feeling and just get it in.
But you know what else releases endorphins and is a natural anti-depressant? Laughing, having sex, cuddling, eating dark chocolate, vanilla and lavender candles and so many more personal to an individual.
Sometimes being told there is only one way out makes that little tunnel seem narrower, it becomes a chore, a job to be done to be happier. When done in the right mind set, sure exercise can work wonders. And to be honest, I actually quite enjoy running, or going to the gym and doing weights, I don’t want it to be a chore!
So, as difficult as it was, my self care involved unfollowing all fitness accounts from my feed except a few, which I felt were the ‘less pushy’ ones, but that is literally just down to my opinion. Also found a few body-positivity ones that I fell in love with and make me feel better about having a bad day.
The end result of today:
Bath, where I could exfoliate and moisturise and take care of myself after a few days of ignoring the way I look through lack of effort.
Revise, this has taken a bit of a backseat to many other things and it’s stressing me out.
Tidy and pack ready for going home, I knew I needed to start doing this, I haven’t spent any time in my room because it’s messy. I do not class myself as an always tidy person in particular – but when it’s messy it makes me agitated.
Make a really good meal with the salmon in my freezer.
- Work out
AND THAT IS OKAY.
And you know what? more things got added on:
- Spent time in the sunshine with friends
- Drank copious amounts of tea
- Laughed a lot
And today that is exactly what I needed.
Self-care is always going to be purely individual. What works for me, may not for you, and may not work for your friend and so on. Deleting my fitness accounts worked for me because I have a giant guilt complex, and everything else worked for me because that is what relaxes me. And now I am feeling rather peaceful.
Don’t ever feel like you have to do something because it’s what is supposed to make you feel better – if you have to kick and scream to get there, just listen to yourself. If you dread it all day, you’re putting yourself through negative feelings to get you there, and that’s literally the opposite of self care.
I am using this purely on the example of exercise – because that is something that I feel I should do. It works for coursework, tidying and so many other things.
Care for yourself in a way that works. I’m sorry if I went off on one here — trying to explain this has been hard and it’s taken all day of me coming back to it trying to work out what I wanted to say!!