I honestly try not to click on Thought Catalog articles when I am on Facebook. Really, I try but I am one of those fishes that bite on click bait. So I end up opening up the article and I am disappointed.
Imagine my surprise when I clicked on an article from Thought Catalog and it made me think deeply. It struck such a nerve that I actually saved it so that I could read it again and again until I was clear on what it had struck.
The article made me rethink the meaning of self-care. I am one of those ones that thinks of self-care as doing calming/relaxing things. My favorite self-care so far has been getting an hour-long massage when I was stressed out this summer. It was glorious. The thing the Thought Catalog article made me realize that though is that self-care should not be about managing stress alone. Self-care should be about designing a life that minimizes stress and encourages self-fulfillment.
In order to design a life that is low on stress and high on self-fulfillment, it requires making tough decisions and sacrifices. It means actively confronting roadblocks instead of ignoring them until we are stressed out and need to have a massage.
One big lesson I have learned this year is that ignoring my troubles don’t make them disappear. They metastasize until I can’t ignore them and I have to take more drastic actions than if I had taken a decision early.
As I read this article, it made me think about all the doctors’ appointments I have had this year. From my first visit with the doctor in August that completely devastated me because I had just been ignoring my body. I think about the doctor’s visit I made in October. I really did not want to go even though I was in pain and scared. Surviving my big health scare has made me realize that self-care is not just about candles and lazy days. Self-care is about doctor’s visits and financial advisor meetings. It is about the difficult conversation to end a toxic relationship. Self-care is about sorting out your closet of old clothes and going shopping even when it seems nothing ever fits.
I never thought that Thought Catalog would inspire deep thoughts within me. Their article on self-care, though filled with cliche, certainly crystallized an idea that had no name in my head. It helped me realize that I am starting to understand that caring for myself cannot be considered a luxurious activity but a daily commitment.