I read about self-care & about how many do it as a preventive measure & how many are on a path of restoration post-crisis.
And there’s a difference there. There really is.
For some it’ll be subtle for others this will hit you right on the spot & open the whole pandora box wide.
Truth is always triggering.
The reality is that these days we don’t do self-care for preventive reasons, we do it to recover from accumulated damage. Damage being stress, chronic pain, chronic exhaustion, mental health issues… We are doing self-care a little too late & we are doing too little to make a difference.
Can we recover?
Can we truly restore our bodies to our pre-insane lifestyle with stressful jobs, bad habits, kids (for some), debts, commitments, full calendars…?
I’m going to go ahead & say yes, we may very possibly restore our bodies & minds but not with 5 minutes of self-care a day like most of us have been convinced to believe is enough.
Let’s just put this one straight as it is:
5 minutes of self-care a day is a modern day band-aid to make you think you are giving yourself “time” & self-lI’ve when in reality you are giving yourself the left overs of your own time & effort after you’ve given the good stuff, the worthy parts of your best self to everyone else.
You are giving yourself what’s left, what others don’t need anymore. Cos if they did, you wouldn’t even take those 5 minutes.
It’s not enough.
It’s not even close to enough.
It’s actually bullshit.
Let’s quit the nonsense & do better.
But for fun, let’s say if miraculously 5 minutes a day fixed our current state of deterioration, the path to maintaining good health after recovery would still require constant & continuous preventive care habits for a little over 5 minutes a day/week. I’m being cynical. For a lot more than 5 minutes a day.
It would require time.
And it would require sacrifices, including the economic kind.
Just like we have taken the time & money to put a serious dent on our physical & mental health through years & years of expensive bad habits, little attention to our needs over those of others, prioritizing stressful lives for the good of material things;
Just like we have taken the time & money to focus on what society dictates is important to be “a real grown-up” even if that means putting our physical & mental well-being second;
Just like that, we need to, WE MUST start investing in giving ourselves true self-care in whatever form actually brings results.
And I don’t mean you have to spend a ton of money to be well. I mean you have to make choices & sacrifices & give up some things & some luxuries to ensure “first my well-being, then everything else”.
There’s a million unnecessary luxuries. Massage therapy, for example, is not one of them. It’s preventive care.
There’s a lot of unnecessary stuff expenses, time with a coach, for sample, is not one of them.
There’s a lot of stuff we deem “necessary” which truly isn’t, and regardless of our economic possibilities, a good portion of our incomes goes to waste. We use time, energy & money in making our homes picture perfect, our cars waxed & clean, our social media spotless, while we fall apart. Something seriously sick is going on with our priorities.
Even worse, we don’t even care to stand for ourselves anymore. We wear the tags of multitaskers, super heroes, all mighty mighters who work in sickness and in health.
Look at her, look at us, we don’t whine like guys who get a cough and need a full day to recover! We can power through all the pain & we stand.
Well, maybe it’s just me but I wanna give men a standing ovation for actually doing it the right way. Feeling sick? Go to bed. Take a day. Rest. Recover.
We want to be equal to men in everything EXCEPT in the stuff men truly have it figured out. Do sickness like a man. Do your period like a man would do. Do postpartum like a man would.
Taking the time.
Taking the rest.
Allowing themselves to be cared for like hopeless creatures.
Damn smart I say !
Hard fact. Nobody. NOBODY will invest time nor money in your care —preventive or restorative— but yourself. Not your partner, parents, kids, boss, doctor. Not The State, God not a Fairy Godmother. Not anyone.
If we don’t choose health above all matters no one will ever put our well-being over all other matters. And yeah people may gift you an hour here & there. But that’s not gonna fix years of bad sleep, overwhelm, exhaustion, etc. Anyone can give you a gift. No one will make it a habit but yourself.
To teach others, our kids included, the value of PREVENTIVE care over RECOVERY, we must lead by example. We want people to give us time, space, money, rights to be well? Well, we gotta start by taking preventive measures for our well-being before we start asking others to do it for us.
Change happens from the inside out. Not from the outside in.
We can’t expect others to come make the right choices & changes for us when we are incapable of taking responsibility for the things we’ve done wrong.
There is nothing superpowery about being a woman. You are a simple human who has taken more than you can chew & since you can’t really back down now you just “take it“ like a man. Except men don’t take it like that so who’s laughing now?
5 minutes of self care a day are not appropriate. 5 minutes don’t even cover the average shower. Or the recommended minimum time for activity.
5 minutes aren't even enough to enjoy one song. Or a cup of tea. Especially not enough to do a basic power nap which requires 15 minutes.
The only thing you may truly accomplish in 5 minutes is to feel stressed about the fact that it‘s so little time that it’s not even worth wasting it.
What path are you planing to follow for yourself? True self care that requires you to change, adapt, take more responsibility for your own choices? Or the let’s fix it later when it’s broken approach where you just hope the machine keeps giving even when the fuel is long gone?