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Ugly Truth about Self-Care

By: Erisha Menon

People often talk about the importance of self-care. Every time someone talks about it, you often hear terms like “pamper yourself” or “take a bubble bath with a bottle of wine”. The truth is, real self-care is a very unbeautiful thing.

Those are all the self-care defined by the need of giving attention to your physical self but what about your mental and emotional needs? The unbeautiful thing about self-care is often the ugly routines that you have to go through.

Sometimes it is about facing all your debts and planning out to have a stable financial life. Sometimes it is about actually making through that work out that you have been “too busy” to do or ending a toxic relationship with a friend.

Sometimes, it is about accepting your flaws and telling yourself that you will get exhausted from trying to be everything all the time and later wanting to do temporary breaks in life. It is when you no longer are running away from your problems and using all the physical pampering as distractions. Because although that sounds like a good time, which sometimes might be, is not the solution.

In this millennial stricken world, “self-care” turns out to be a trendy topic that we often use it as a resort when we are exhausted from our own harsh internal stress.

What I learnt after reading Brianna Wiest’s article on Thought Catalog is that “true self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” I understood that it regularly takes doing things you least wanting to do.

The main step would be facing the truth and it all starts with acceptance. It is a brave thing to do to look eye to eye at your failures and regrets and actually setting a goal to fix it. Next, it is letting go. Take courage to step out of your comfort zone and start choosing new. Something better for you and your mental needs. It is having your own back even though others can’t accept the way you choose to live.

In a nutshell, it is letting yourself be you. Normal. Regular but unexceptional. Like Wiest said, “It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people. It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be.”