Self-care has become an increasingly popular notion in the past couple years. Like all things in a capitalistic society, though, it’s been so heavily commodified that the implication becomes that we can simply “buy” our way to self-care. Charcoal face masks, jade rollers, Thai massages… all of these things certainly can help a person feel better, but they also require spending money and don’t necessarily even create a lasting or meaningful impact. So what can we do for true self care?
Whether procrastinating on a daunting project at work, avoiding a tough conversation with a loved one, or ignoring a bad habit, avoiding the issue never resolves it. The sooner you face the challenge, the sooner it will be over. A phrase I’ve been using lately is “I will survive it.” When I’m up against something dreadful, I simply remind myself: “Hey, this is going to be hard and uncomfortable. But at the end, you’ll still be alive. It’ll be okay.” It’s a good way to remember that these problems are only temporary and are usually not as terrible as they are intimidating.
Saying “no” can be hard -- especially if you are a bit of a people pleaser. But goodness it is necessary. Sometimes saying no needs to happen when you’ve simply run out of energy: “I really appreciate the invite, but I am feeling tired and like I should spend this evening in tonight.” Sometimes it is what allows you to preserve your personal values: “Actually, I’m not comfortable with that.” No matter what, saying no truly is one of the simplest and most impactful ways to keep yourself energized as well as aligned with your personal values.
It’s incredible how much turmoil we build up simply by denying our own reality. I just bought a house, for example, and really wanted to be excited at closing. But the reality is that I felt mostly scared. It wasn’t until I sat myself down and accepted that fear that I could move past it and into the excitement. Every single experience has so many sides to it; we rarely feel one thing at a time, much less one thing that we think we should feel. And until we allow ourselves to feel all of those things, we will continue to feel that inner distress. As yoga teaches - observe without judgement. “Oh, I’m really scared right now. Okay. Also, I feel a bit excited. Alright, I’ll see that, too.” and so on.
A person who doesn’t change throughout their life is a person who isn’t truly living. Like a rock within a river, we will be molded and shaped by all we encounter. We might look back on past versions of ourselves and think that person felt “truer,” but every version of you is true. Indeed, it might just take some time to explore new patterns and priorities to fully see and embrace the you that you are today. Practice seeing yourself as an evolving being, and you might find a little more ease throughout your life.
Every time you fulfill a promise to yourself, you build up a sense of inner trust. With that trust comes confidence, empowerment, and a general feeling of well-being. So make (and fulfill) promises to yourself every day. You might have some that are daily - “Every day I will meditate for at least 5 minutes” or “Every morning I will make my bed.” You might have some that depend on the day - “Today I will find 20 minutes to read my book.” Either way, consciously cultivating these promises allows you to go off of autopilot and into mindfulness -- a great bonus in addition to building that inner trust.
All-in-all, self-care can look so many different ways. The key idea here is to remember that it can’t be bought; it must be built. And only you can do it.
Brooke is a contributing author for Tada Rugs. Tada Rugs is a 5x7 yoga mat disguised as an artistic area rug that you never have to put away. Tada is short for tadasana, or mountain pose, and our own backyard in the San Juan Mountains of Durango, Colorado is where we find our inspiration. Check out our new designs, enter for a chance to win a new Tada Rug, and be sure to follow us for deals and insider specials! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or contact us through our website! Tie a room together and bring your practice home.
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