Self-care is the active choice of engaging in activities that are to maintain an optimal level of overall health, including psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.
Before you read another word, I need you to play this in the background whilst reading, why? Because we’re going to talk about self-care.
I decided that in my ‘regression to writing’, I would focus on the idea of self-care. It’s something that healthcare professionals have been raving about for the past 30 years but it’s only just caught fire for most people and even more so on social media where everyone is becoming more aware of the necessity of it. My issue is that in many communities, self-care can be negatively perceived as indulgent and selfish. Now don’t get me wrong, it can be, but everything can be bad or good in extremity or moderation. An example of it is the Christian community, and it´s interesting, maybe in our attempt to fulfil Mark 12:31, we’ve elevated the idea of practising ‘love your neighbour’ so much that the ‘as yourself’ has been become a theory. Or perhaps, it’s hard to love on others because we don’t love on ourselves?
The idea of it..
For me, it’s only been in the past day or two that I’ve really become aware of my lack of intentional self-care, and I say intentional because there are things I do for self-care but see them as luxuries. I think it started with a conversation I had with le bestie about a situation with a friend who frequently disrespects me indirectly and my passivity towards it. A recent number of things about our friendship has started to show me how toxic maintaining it can be, from his implicit (and not so implicit) misogynistic views to his rejective body language if I’ve upset him. There have been times where I’ve walked away from a discussion and felt so emotionally drained that I slept for the rest of the day. And le besties, as a firm believer in self-care, reaction to it all was that she was disappointed in the fact that I allowed myself back into those situations and maintained a relationship with this person whose toxicity was affecting me. And she’s right. Often times when I engaged in this kind of behaviour (entering into toxic environments knowingly), my reasoning for not wanting to cut things off or pull back is generally because it’s easy to surround yourself with those similar to you. I want those around me who I can challenge and challenge me, but I’ve realised that there are ways that this can happen without hurting one another, but edifying one another. And it is crucial that both be approachable for correction without taking offence to the correction.
(Now pause the music and play this. This is my self-care sound.)
So then, today my first step in self-care was intentionally watching my fav Utubers without feeling guilty about it, then sitting down to write this post without thinking of it as a waste of time that could be used to study (#finalyearproblems). Secondly, I’m going to read up more on self-care, recognising what I already do in my daily life that things I unknowingly do for self-care. Thirdly, I want to give you some posts that have good suggestions for self-care activities, especially one regarding how men define and practice self-care which is so important in a hyper-masculine world. And fourthly, I’m going to pray about this friend and our friendship and figure out how to maintain it whilst still caring for myself and state of mind.
Self Care – ‘Walking the Talk’
How These African Men Define & Practise Self-Care
80+ Self-Care Ideas
Self-Care is Not Selfish
How I Create A Self Care Kit
5 Best Podcasts for Black Girl Self-Care