My relationship with self-care
I’m genuinely unsure what I want to write about right now. To be completely honest I’m finding it difficult to motivate myself from moment-to-moment. I’m sort of in a low-energy phase, and I’m not sure how long it’s going to last. In these phases I usually like to make excuses to myself to perform behaviours I know are unhealthy for me in the name of self-care. It’s not that these behaviours are unhealthy per se, and when done properly as part of self-care I imagine they’re incredibly helpful for a lot of people. The sort of things that I’m talking about are spending an entire day watching TV, or waking up later in the day and having a ‘lie in’ during the week, or eating a lot of rich take-away food (usually British-Chinese).
On the surface, these usually seem like sensible avenues of self-care; you eat some comfort food, or relax for an entire day watching TV instead of stressing about things. I understand that (or at least I think I do!). I guess what I’m saying is that I can often have a destructive relationship with these things, in that they often have a detrimental effect on other things that I want to do in my life at the moment. Having a low-energy day watching TV seems nice on the surface, but that activity rarely brings me the sort of visceral joy that I actually need to drag myself out of whatever rut it is I need to pull myself out of at the moment. I think, for me, what counts as true self-care is prioritising and performing activities or actions that genuinely bring me joy in their performance; or at least their accomplishment. Things that invigorate me. I guess the conclusion I can draw from this is that, previously, I thought of self-care activities as having a particular aesthetic – one that required me to be passive. I think, then, that self-care should be explicitly energising.
So, what then energises me? What is to be done? If I have a quick think there’s a few activities that come to mind wherein I feel genuinely brimming with energy afterwards:
- Strength Training, obviously. I will continue to sing its praises as a catalyst for growth.
- Waking up early and just doing something. Either reading or listening to audio. Strangely, staying in bed an extra hour or so doesn’t really energise me when it’s a habit.
- Building things I want to build. At the moment my ‘building things’ todo list is mostly software, but I’ve been putting it off for ages.
- Eating right. Although sometimes a bit of a chore, eating right is good for my body which gives me physical energy, and when it’s a habit I tend to feel really good about myself as well.
- Strenuous activity. Stuff like walking up mountains, or sailing. I suppose Strength Training could fit here as well, but it has its own ‘space’ in my life. I don’t do enough of these things at the moment. Although the immediate aftermath of the activity is always “Ooph I’m really tired and need a rest”, about a day or two later I’m raring to go and conquer whatever activity comes across my path.
So, yeah. I suppose there’s a self-care plan of sorts? I dunno, if nothing else then at least I’ve mapped what I’m missing at the moment :-P