Your bubble bath is bullshit.
Although to be honest, most of what we’re selling to moms these days is bullshit. Red wine as liberation? Barre classes and bath bombs and handcrafted basil balms – OH MY!
The message is that you must keep trying to ‘have it all’ and that having it all actually means putting everyone and everything else in front of you on the priority list and numbing the anguish that comes with that by buying more stuff.
You don’t need community or a support system when you have an Instant Pot and nice bottle of merlot.
You don’t need boundaries when you can get a great deal on a mani-pedi on Groupon.
Why go to therapy when you have a blood orange and thyme bath balm handmade by someone named Sheila? Look – it even has her face on the sticker! And it’s made with no preservatives – WHAT ELSE COULD YOU NEED?
I spend the majority of my day trying to convince women that they are whole human beings who deserve love and care. The fact that those are things women need to be convinced of breaks my heart. The fact that others are trying to exploit those issues to sell products simply enrages me.
So let’s get honest about self-care, shall we? Let’s define our terms. Self-Care is caring for yourself. It is just as simple and just as hard as that. I break the ‘self’ aspect of that into four parts: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual. This is about learning who you are and what you need in your life in all four areas. It’s about learning how to set healthy boundaries and how to hold them. It’s about discovering or creating the community that will help you to thrive. It is about setting yourself as a priority.
This shit is hard. IT IS SO HARD.
It is so much easier to have a glass of wine than it is to admit that I need help with my parenting. I’d much rather take a bubble bath than set firm boundaries with my parents. And my basil body balm smells much better than my therapist’s office. But for years I was in an abusive relationship with myself and I refuse to continue it. Now, I work every day to make reparations to me and become the type of person that I deserve to be in a relationship with.
The side effects of this are that I am more honest with my friends and family. I am creating a business that I love and that is helping other mothers. My relationship with my partner and my children is stronger. I am modeling healthy relationships with self to everyone in my life – the ripple effects of that will never be known.
And all of those things are wonderful, but they are side effects. Because the point is that my mindset shifted. I’m not going to lie to you and start gushing about how much I adore myself and how I have fallen in love with me. We’re cutting through the bullshit, remember? My goal is to one day be my own best friend. One day that will be the relationship I have with myself. I’m getting closer and closer to that every day. So are my clients, who are changing their lives one hard decision at a time.
If the indulgence, the luxury, the tools, the tricks, the brands, the relaxation and the rejuvenation that has been packaged and sold to you as self-care hasn’t worked for you, it is not your fault. You can’t use a perfume to cure cancer either. The difference is that no one is out there telling you that you can.
Figure out who you are and what you want.
Decide that you are worth it.
Make a plan.
GRAB YOUR LIFE.
What does self-care mean to you? What works for you and what doesn’t? Let me know in the comments!