“Self-care” is one of those words I only see on lifestyle blogs and podcasts.
Don’t get me wrong: I live for these blogs and podcasts; I couldn’t give a flying toss whether it makes me a cliché, I bloody love them – reading and listening to awesome women who are carving out a life they love is what gets me up in the morning (well, that, and the need to catch my train).
But “self-care”? There wasn’t a lot of that sort of touchy-feely stuff in my house. Yes, I got a lot of hugs from my dad and tough, determined love from my mum, but my mother ‒ British, northern baby boomer generation woman that she is ‒ would not have the first clue what I meant if I said “self-care”. She’d be like, “What? You mean, doesn’t everyone just bloody carry on and get on with it?”
As may be apparent, I didn’t grow up in a household that placed much emphasis on touchy-feely, “emotional toolkits” for life. My parents’ philosophy is, you get a job, you get on with it, you fit everything else around it if/when you have time, and if you’re stressed, have a glass of good wine and some cheese to forget about it.
I have some respect for the last two of these concepts – I am a food/restaurant writer, after all.
But, when it comes to actually taking time out of your daily routine to, you know, make sure you don’t feel like you’re suffocating with the pressure of everything, there is something to be said for tiny practices that don’t lead to hangovers or food comas.
Proper chats with good friends, relaxing (and, um, not-so-relaxing) with your significant other (if you have one), chocolate and sunny holidays are also fantastic ways to chill, but you don’t need me to tell you can’t do that all the time.
Nope, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got to find little ways to let off steam daily, otherwise you’ll either explode, or implode. Neither is good.
Over the next few days, I thought I’d share some of the top 6 ways – actual, concrete things –
I’ve found to make life that little bit easier.
My “self-care”, if you will…heh. Because sometimes I wish that someone had told me earlier: You know what, understanding that you need an emotional toolkit for life isn’t a weakness. It’s a strength.
My self-care series
Self-care: 6 ways I chill the hell out