Baths are cute. Baths look good on Instagram. Baths are relaxing. Unfortunately, baths aren’t a cure for all of the funk in our lives. The same goes for meditation, crystals, wine and whatever other “self-care aesthetic” that we see on social media.
Christmas Eve 2018, I cried myself to sleep. I can’t really pinpoint why. I wasn’t necessarily sad or particularly upset – I was just – in a slump. It was a cathartic cry; snot, headache, the whole nine yards. Like clockwork, I got up the next morning and put on some concealer so I wouldn’t have to face those intrusive questions like, “omg, you look terrible, what’s wrong?” I hate those. Even more, I hate feeling bad with no clear explanation why. So I did some digging and realized that I had been using all of my wins to over compensate for the losses I’d been taking. Things were happening and I never gave myself time to process them or really let them sink in- but when something good happened, I’d go overboard to get my mind off of the 12 things that went wrong last week. Unhealthy coping mechanism 101. For me, December was like when a high wears off and you’re left with reality. Last year was amazing for me and my journalism career. My personal life on the other hand, hot garbage. What was holding Personal Sydnei back from catching up with Career Sydnei? Mainly, my eating habits. I was eating out at least 4 times a week. Hibachi steak and chicken twice a week for a month really screws with your cholesterol- and I would’ve known that had I actually gone to see my physician regularly. When I finally got blood work done, my doctor immediately put me on medicine to regulate my cholesterol. In a week’s time I had more energy than I’d had all damn year. I was waking up on time, going to sleep at a decent hour; generally being more productive.
Once I got my physical health under control, I had an urge to mend relationships. This part was really, really ugly. What a learning curve!! Sometimes you won’t get an apology- that’s life. Other times, people won’t accept your apology- that’s also a part of life. Either way, in order to move to the next level, the Universe will position people in your life who will challenge your integrity and maturity. Don’t fold. I had “the worst break up in the history of break ups” a few years ago and there were still things that kept me up at night. How could I enjoy my current love interest if I still resented my ex? I couldn’t. I also needed a solid group of friends to have my back as I navigated such a sensitive situation. In the end, I realized that I wanted this huge apologetic gesture from someone- but I wasn’t willing to do the same for people that I called friends. Selfish. Trash. On the flip side, emotional manipulation is a real thing and you have to tap into your discernment to separate the real from the bullshit.
Self-care isn’t just a day off to yourself- it’s a continuous practice. It’s going to the doctor, it’s reconciling with your support system, it’s getting an oil change on time. It’s so broad. It’s so necessary. It’s an action. Meditate, but then get off of your ass and implement the changes that you need to become your best self. Go get checked! Take your partner with you! Block that number! Do what’s you have to do to stop holding yourself back, that’s how you take care of yourself!