I hope you’re having a good week/month/year/life as of late. My energy has been pretty wishy-washy the past couple weeks, and I’d chalk it up to the lack of effort I’ve been putting into my self-care aside from the necessities. The topic I want to focus on today is a big one, hygiene. I feel as though when I hear the term “self-care” my mind immediately goes to pretty bath bombs, face masks and fancy shower scrubs. But the reality is, that’s not the whole thing.
Hygiene can feel like a chore when suffering from constant fluctuations in mental well-being. For me, on my low days it’s not just hard to get out of bed. It’s hard after getting out of bed, getting myself into the shower, brushing my teeth, and taking care of my skin. Even something as simple as drinking water can feel like a big ordeal. I think that might be why I want to assume self-care is the luxurious stuff that I mentioned before, stuff we don’t get to do all the time. This is me tricking my brain into thinking self-care can be “too luxury” for someone with a busy life like mine, but it can be so simple and so much more than just the cute Instagram-worthy self-care. And then there’s the mental wellness aspect, a whole other part of healing through different aspects of self-care. But that’s for another day.
Somehow, I need motivation to take care of myself, to take care of my body that does so much for me and allows me to stay alive in this ever-changing world. If you’ve been feeling unproductive on the self-care front, you’re not alone. I can get uninspired by the bare minimum. The poet in me wants it to be beautiful. The teeth brushing, hair washing, and showering. Something intriguing or moving. But the truth is, it’s not something intriguing or moving in the moment, it’s the aftereffects of these things that improve mental wellness and sufficiency. I once heard a member of the 12 Step community say: “You can’t think your way into better acting, you have to act your way into better thinking. It’s anecdotes like these, slightly harsh but always motivate me to light a fire under my bum to keep it pushing. Even when I don’t feel like it, I need to. It’s a beautiful thing how new perspective can blossom out of action, absent of thought. I can be quite the over-thinker, and I don’t know about you, but I can over-think myself out of almost anything…or INTO almost anything. Sometimes it can be better to just do, not think, but not all the time. HA.
The motivation grows into excitement when I add things to this bare-minimum routine, like all that flowery, pretty and poetic stuff. When I can convince myself to get out of bed, get in the shower and wash my face I can sell myself on the idea by adding a ‘treat’ into it. Some of the luxury I add into hygiene is what motivates me to stay hygienic in the first place. There’s nothing like taking off my makeup, putting on a too-expensive face mask and laying in a bubble bath, bath bomb and all. Just enjoying the simple luxury of the smells and the simplistic beauty in getting to sit with myself, makes it all worth it, and somehow takes the pressure off. The pressure can be what gets me down in the first place, only if I let it. Just because I don’t want to, doesn’t mean it won’t feel good. Just like how self-love doesn’t happen overnight. It takes so much practice day-in and day-out, it’s not linear. Hygienic self-care isn’t linear either, especially after adding mental health obstacles. But I just wanted to remind you…and myself, that we’re not alone. We can be proud of the small victories! I am proud of you and yours.
I hope you take some time tonight or tomorrow for some self-care with a fancy treat with it. You deserve that, and so much more!
With so much love and gratitude,