If you’ve stepped foot into therapy, the term “self-care” should sound familiar to you. Self care often gets associated with bubble baths, spa days, TV marathons and smoothies and while that doesn’t hurt to throw in, there is so much more to the term.
Let’s look at yourself a little differently than you are probably used to.
Think of yourself as a multilevel home.
Each floor signifies a different part of you.
You move into your home and begin decorating and painting, making the aesthetics everything you imagined! You spend so much time perfecting this floor that you’re too tired to go down to the basement to examine its condition.
Little do you know in the basement there is a leak, mold is growing, and there are even a few cracks in the foundation. These are some big problems. But you’ve never spent the time, energy, curiosity or even necessary money on this level. Do you think this is livable? Maybe for a period of time, but just how long?
How does this relate to ‘self-care’?
Often, we think of the term as something to pamper oneself, a way to ‘accessorize’ oneself, just like the floor in our home we spend all our energy, time, and money-making beautiful. Yes, these feel great but they should be done after we take care of the basement level of our home, once our foundation is strong and secure.
And I know your next question, “But how do you make your house safe and strong again?” I am glad you asked.
Self care involves self-exploration. Means looking into aspects of yourself that you might have pushed to the side. It can mean processing events that you find yourself avoiding thoughts of, or having conversations that scare you. It might be finding the courage to pursue the career you are drawn to. Or removing people from your life that bring you down, guilt-free (yes, this can involve family sometimes). Self care is learning how to support yourself by seeking growth in areas that improve your quality of life.
Self care is deciding you deserve respect, and deciding to not settle for anything besides that.
If you focus on decorating your house but refuse to examine our basement- we are not doing justice to our property as a whole.
But you can work on ALL levels. You can go deep into the basement and repair the cracks and leaks and the less elegant aspects to the property, and then walk upstairs and hang up your paintings and fixtures. You can sip your smoothie while you soak in your bubble bath and relax a bit better knowing that the foundation of your house is in the best condition it can be.