By Ellie Rochell
After reading Alexandria’s recent post, ‘Why you don’t need to love yourself first in order to be worthy of love’, I’ve been thinking about what self-care (the supposed thing that leads us to self-love) actually is.
The internet likes to tell us that the perfect self-care example looks something like this: “The version where we light a lavender candle and sip lemon ginger tea as we listen to our favourite Taylor Swift album, and all of our woes magically disappear into the night.”
But in reality, what the f**k is self-care? Is it the same for everyone? How do we do it? Is there a correct way to self-care?
Honestly, who knows. For me personally, I find that self-care is anything that feels like a small or simple luxury - something that gives me some sort of inner peace.
Whether that’s moisturising my body after a shower (something I’ll notice for a couple of days), cooking myself dinner or taking time to watch a show or film that I really want to watch - and watching it alone - it varies day by day.
Giving yourself time to decompress from your work or university week is massively important in avoiding burnout - which is all-too-glamorised as part of ‘hustle culture’ (a completely toxic attitude to success and worthiness).
It’s important to remember that everyone’s self-care will look different, something that seems pointless to you, could be a ritual for someone else.
One thing that I believe is a form of self-care is cleaning/tidying your space. Every Sunday I try to spend at least 15 minutes cleaning my room, even if it’s just a quick hoover and putting everything away. This means that when I want to sit in my room and relax I can do so in a space that feels clean and fresh - for me, this has a huge impact on my mindset, especially in Winter when I begin to spend more time at home.
I feel as though this blog has ultimately left me with more questions. But in all honesty, encouraging myself to analyse what I do that genuinely makes me feel good has helped me to understand what my self-care looks like - and knowing when I need to take a step back and spend time for myself.