Okay, I promise I’m not completely bashing face masks and bubble baths, but self-care doesn’t solely consist of the aesthetic of it all. In a world where mainstream media has gotten the true meaning of self-care lost in translation; Self-care is maintenance for your well-being, and valuing the worth of your physical, emotional, and mental health.
When I think of self-care, I think of maintaining balanced energy within myself, and everything surrounding me. And by balanced I don’t even mean positive; I just mean neutral. starting with a clean slate allows my mind freedom to take whichever path it desires. But if I have negative energy lingering in my body or in my environment, everything else in my life seems to follow suit. So, the following are some things that have worked for me to maintain balanced energy.
Decluttering your room
For me, maintaining the energy in my space and body is the bare minimum in saying that I am taking care of myself. In my mind where my thoughts can make me feel cluttered enough, the least I can do is have a cleaned-out space. Don’t feel overwhelmed to tackle an entire room in one day. Start small with a junk drawer or donate a few shirts that you can think of at the top of your head. Even just cleaning out a dedicated corner in your room can help declutter any negative energy lingering.
Making your bed
I know this might sound so bare minimum, but if you are coming from a place of depression, the small things do matter. And it’s the smallest of things that can encourage even more positive actions.
Ending your day with gratitude
I used to start my day with gratitude, but the past few weeks have been a little rough. When I have woken up in the mornings, I don’t always feel the jolliest to start my day lol. For the past couple of weeks, when I wake up, I feel overwhelmed with the things that have been going on, and so practicing gratitude with the overflow of emotions just wasn’t helping. When I tried practicing gratitude at night it allowed me to focus more on the short-term things to be grateful for rather than focus my energy on the bigger picture of problems that would pop into my head right when I wake up.
I actually don’t meditate every day (I’m working on it lol) but I have been using meditation lately to, in a sense, press reset on my body’s state of energy. I’ve been using it lately to start over with my emotions and start my day with a clean slate.
Sometimes I think it’s easy to ignore what our body needs and ignore the feelings we need to feel, especially when those feelings are not fun to feel. To help myself feel the feelings I try my best to ignore on a daily basis I have been practicing a form of meditation called, “emotional integration”. This type of mediation is guided and walks you through any negative thoughts or feelings that you know are being suppressed. I have to do a check-in on myself every now and then to analyze anything that I have been ignoring in my mind within my emotions and thoughts. I tend to get stuck in this cycle of suppressing how I feel out of fear that if I allow myself to feel those feelings, I won’t be able to stop, and I will fall into depression again. But what brings me comfort in emotional integration is that I know the meditation won’t last forever. And that the meditation, just like it guided me into the negative emotions, will guide me out of it.
And if you really want to take a bath for a self-care night, take a salt bath.
I am not going to get into the holistic benefits of salt baths, but yes, it is a way to balance the energy in your body, salt baths of course have scientific benefits to them as well. They can help reduce stress, aid restful sleep, and decrease stress levels within the body. I personally take a more holistic approach when I take salt baths; I use them with the intention of allowing the salt bath to remove any negative energy lingering in my body. The way I prepare for a salt bath is to sage the space and going in with almost a meditative headspace. You can add different essential oils to enhance the meaning of the bath like rose oil for self-love and empowerment or lavender for stress and overall relaxation.
Self-care just like everything else in life doesn’t have to look one way. Besides what I mentioned, it could also look like something as simple as taking a few moments to yourself in your car before entering the chaos that is your home or screaming heartbreak songs to get over a breakup. The basis of meaningful self-care is recognizing the needs of your physical and mental health. The opposite of self-care is falling into temporary solutions that numb what you are going through. Listen to your body, and your thoughts, listen to the things your mind is aching you to tend to and take action.