Forget Self-Care, First I Need to Care

By Lady B

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Last night I talked to my friend for more than 3 hours on the phone, like we were still in high school. I sat in the same chair in the same position almost the entire conversation. Today, my back hurts. A lot.
 
We are definitely not in high school anymore.
 
I’ve been noticing small changes with my body over the past few years that can be attributed to age and my general state of out-of-shape-ness. This minor back pain caused by sitting is just one example. Rather than list my ailments, I’ll just say that I’m not taking care of myself like I should be and my body is reminding me of that today.
 
I don’t have a good reason for eating more carbs than vegetables or choosing slothing over swimming. (Slothing is like swimming, only you’re lying down on something like a bed or a couch, not moving, and there is only water involved when you’re in the bathtub.) For a long time I struggled with depression and sadness and loneliness and not caring about anything other than slothing, including myself. Self-care was never really on my radar.
 
There is so much talk about self-care these days. When I hear the term self-care I think of doing something extra for myself. I imagine fluffy robes, pedicures, and lots of pink for some reason. (I think it’s from all the pictures of bath bombs I’ve seen on Instagram. I don’t even like pink.) I know self-care can mean all sorts of things, from getting a manicure to reading a book to taking a long walk. The articles and blog posts about self-care are endless.
 
But what about just plain old care? That’s where I need to start. Before I can practice self-care I need to actually care about my self. I need to care what happens to me. I need to care if I’m here or not, if I’m eating vegetables or not, and if I’m leaving the house or remaining home in a sloth-like state.
 
My friend could tell I was feeling stressed out so she asked about my mental health. She cares about me. She cares if I’m here or not. I know it sounds silly but for years and years and years, that wasn’t the case. I could have dropped off the face of the Earth and no one would have noticed for months.
 
Someone cares about me. I need to care about me. I need to take care of me.
 
This week I am making myself take care of me. Work has been incredibly stressful recently. Every day I wake up to emails from my clients with subject lines like, “HELP!” and, “I give up!” and, “This just isn’t working.” You would think I’m a professional counselor. I’m not. I’m in software customer service. Today I woke up to these emails and I started sweating. Like, anxiety ridden, full-on, freak-out sweating. I’m not saving lives. I’m helping people login to systems. I should not be sweating. What I’ve been feeling doesn’t feel right. It’s too much.
 
I need a break. So, I’m taking a break. I’m taking a few days off of work for no reason and with little notice because I need to. Call them mental health days or self-care days but to me they’re more like, “I need to care that I’m here days.”
 
I don’t know why I haven’t been caring about myself or taking care of myself enough. Maybe I need more time on the phone with my friends to remind me that I’m not alone in this world anymore. There are people who care about me. I need to figure out how to be one of them.
 

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9 Comments

  1. Melissa on 04/10/2018 at 6:37 PM

    Beautiful and honest post. It’s so easy to forget that caring period is the first crucial step to self-care.

    • Lady B on 04/11/2018 at 12:09 PM

      Thank you Melissa!

  2. Sarah on 04/11/2018 at 10:47 AM

    Beautiful, honest and exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. And it completely makes sense, how can I do self care if I don’t actually care? Thank you so much for helping me make sense of how I’ve been feeling xx

    • Lady B on 04/11/2018 at 12:10 PM

      I’m glad my post helped you make sense of what you’re feeling but I’m sorry you’re feeling the same way!

  3. Madi Dearson on 04/11/2018 at 2:23 PM

    I think many people feel that way every now and then – the way we live our life these days is so lonely – many of us stuck in front of screens, heads buried in our phones, working long hours, dating virtually etc. relationship – human real ones are sorrily lacking. the Beatles sang “All you need is love” – and it’s true – Love for yourself – that comes first. CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE wrote “Our first and last love is self love” .
    So fake it till you make it -even when you struggle to care, or to love yourself, fake it, give yourself the habit of self love and care, it will become second nature to you if only through the practice and repeat . I love that you took a break when you felt you needed to, hope it helps.

  4. Nele on 04/11/2018 at 2:29 PM

    Very honest and well written post, I do recognise myself in a lot of this. I think it’s easy to forget sometimes! Hope you’ll be feeling better!

  5. Mandi Schneck on 04/11/2018 at 6:31 PM

    WOW this hits home. Such an important message. Thanks for this reminder we all need once in a while!

  6. Polly on 04/13/2018 at 9:26 AM

    Love how honest this post is! Really nicely written xx

  7. Emma on 05/05/2018 at 12:03 PM

    Lovely honest post – we all take day to Day life for granted and I really think if we took more time out for self care we would all feels so much better about ourselves and life.

    Emma | http://www.lifeofemmax.co.uk

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