Self-Care That Sucks
I’ve been going through season after season of major change, moving, family stress, and trying to get settled in a new stage of life after I got divorced a few years ago. After gypsying and traveling for a year, and spending a year trying to find some roots in Brooklyn I’m finally in a place where I have the brainspace to focus on taking care of “routine needs” like going to the doctor, finding a yoga studio to get my butt back to class regularly and establishing my roster of healers and resources that I can turn to when sh*t is hitting the fan. Although recently, you may have noticed, it feels like the ish is constantly hitting the fan. Whether its the planets moving in weird ways or we're in a universal movement of purge-the-bad-and-lean-into-the-discomfort it feels like everyone is treading water just trying to get by. Do you relate? Have you been able to save a little time for yourself in all the chaos?
For the last few years, the entirely of self-care, for me, has looked like a LOT of baths, yoga in my living room, lots of journal writing, cuddling/crying/cooking and surrounding myself with pretty things in whatever space I’m in. These are great tools that are easy and accessible and sometimes are the most we can do for ourselves. Settling into New York City has been the hardest transition I've ever really had because this place is so hard physically and energetically, but so inspiring. Recently I realized how behind I was on my physical self-care -- not in a hippie healer way but in a “oh wow I haven’t been to the dentist since I lived in California and that was in 2015…” and having no idea if I should find a new dentist where I live or calling my childhood dentist made me put it off again and again. When faced with decisions that require multiple steps like this, it is so easy to blow off, especially when it just gives me more stuff I have to do!
As spring finally rolls in (hopefully?!) the time for actually doing the things is upon us. Our winter hibernation is coming to an end and it's time to wake up! It's time to do the annoying self-care things. (Then reward ourselves with the good kind of self-care like lunch dates and making time to just relax, obviously. maybe a cupcake is also involved ;)
So here’s a list of self-care things that suck but are REALLY important to do if you’re actually taking care of yourself! I'm focusing on this list as my "go-to self care" for the rest of the month. By the time it's actually warm out I hope to have the energy and minor inconveniences of appointments taken care of so I can work, play and adventure without any worries!
1. Go to your doctor.
I am NOT a fan of the doctor or physicals but it’s so important to establish a trusting relationship with someone outside of urgent care that you can ask questions and build a relationship with to take care of your body! Depending on your insurance, if you have it, you might need a referral and this is the ticket to getting that door opened!
When I was a teenager I LOVED going to the dentist because I went so frequently with braces, my mouth always felt clean. After a traumatizing (and expensive!) experience with a new dentist after I moved out west, I conveniently forgot to make my next cleaning + checkup and haven’t had my teeth looked at since (except for a funny trade I did at my apartment of craniosacral therapy for a dental hygiene cleaning from a hygienist-student friend of mine!). You only get one set of adult teeth-- A 40 minute cleaning once a year isn't nearly as bad as a root canal or extraction. Get checked!
3. Eye Doctor.
Being able to see is such a gift. When your vision is bad like mine… it’s so important to keep up on the health of your eyes (despite the cost and the annoyance!) Change your contacts when you’re supposed to. Get your prescription checked so you’re not straining your eyes. If you don’t need glasses, consider looking into “computer glasses” that help decrease the blue light and strain of looking at the screen all day!
(That link just a site I found with a quick google search! No sponsorships or affiliate links here.)
4. Digestive Health.
Everybody poops. If you’re not pooping regularly, or if you have any kind of pain or inconsistency with your digestion this is a RED FLAG and the potential start of a lot of sickness although it seems pretty normal for everyone to have some tummy trouble. All of our health, immunity, and hormones begin in the gut so our mental state, ability to fight sickness, handle stress and live a strong and healthy life are compromised when the gut is out of wack! Speaking to your doctor or a nutritionist is the best way to get on track if something is wrong, or if you’re not sure if something is wrong. If you’re the DIY type like me, starting off by taking digestive enzymes + probiotics daily, doing an elimination diet (like Whole30), and receiving belly massage are surefire ways to get your gut health on point and know what feels healthy versus what doesn't feel great in your own body.
5. Daily Routine.
This is one of the. most. difficult. parts. about self-care. Showing up for yourself every day when you just want to sleep a little longer or scroll on the your phone just a little more is hard. Waking up a little earlier to give yourself time to greet the day, start off on the right foot with a warm breakfast, meditation or quiet time is life changing when you’re able to commit to it consistently. Try it for a month and see how you feel!
When we shift the lens of what self-care is and look at it as an investment in our life + longevity it's not so bad... but it's definitely not as yummy as getting a 90 minute massage with hot herb bundles smushed all over you. This list covers the things I'm working on in this season... to check in physically, mentally and emotionally so I have a solid state of stability as the next rollercoaster comes.
What sucky self-care is coming up for you?
WHat are you struggling to do for yourself?
I'd love to hear! Comment or email if you need support!