The Self-Care Journey -- Introduction
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
In the middle of my sophomore year of high school, I was at an extremely low point in my emotional health that I decided my schoolwork was no longer important. For the try-hard that I am, accepting the bare minimum would have sounded horrid, but that’s what I began to do. I’d wake up 5 minutes before school, walk in 10 minutes after the bell, mope around the entire day, then go home and complain about my homework and not start it until 1 am, then fall asleep and repeat that cycle every single day. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 outbreak when I finally sat at home and truly had the time to sleep all day and not worry about any work. The habit of going to bed at 4 am and waking up for dinner became routine and felt amazing, but I also felt completely empty. I was getting nothing done and in my hours awake, the only thing I could bring myself to do was pick up my phone and scroll through endless photos and videos of other people doing what I wish I could bring myself to do. Obviously, I couldn’t allow myself to continue this damaging cycle of unproductiveness, however nothing ever seemed appealing enough for me. So what changed?
Well, I’ll never say I have completely moved away from total unproductiveness, but I would dare to say that I have finally discovered the proper path that’ll finally push me forward. It all points toward self-care.
What is self-care? The stereotypical answer would be taking a “mental health day” away from all of your problems, doing a sheet mask while watching your favorite movie, and finally feeling at peace for that day, then going back to your stressful and tiresome life again the next. The truth is we can only continue that cycle for so long until you physically and mentally begin to just break.
Self-care is about nurturing your body to be fully rested, but it’s also about constantly learning about yourself and setting time aside to do so. Think about it this way: we literally are our bodies, we walk around in them all day, but the thing that makes us us is our thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I’ve come to learn that making time to learn about yourself and become your own best friend is actually quite a fun thing to do, but also the most effective way in pushing us towards our goals. It’s also completely relevant to struggling productiveness because learning about ourselves allows us to understand our weaknesses and strengths giving us the ability to trick ourselves into being productive people.
Many have said that our need for productiveness is all due to the capitalistic environment that asks us to work hard to get somewhere, but the truth is, a life where we sat and did absolutely nothing has no reward at all and sounds excruciatingly uneventful. Productiveness can turn into condoning to an environment, or it can be tailored to things that you actually want to get done. Nothing will come out of nothing, so we must start somewhere, but also unremarkable will come out of a lack of passion, so we must enjoy what we begin.
This all might seem unhelpful, or maybe, you’ve even tried all the tips and tricks for how to be a person that gets stuff done. For me, an avid procrastinator, I’ve always been trying to find immediate solutions to my habit, but I’ve slowly begun to learn that it is a process with infinite aspects to cover. That’s why this article is only the introduction to an entire series of self-care. Getting to know yourself isn’t only about questions, it’s like building a friendship. You have to be willing to embark on a journey that will last your lifetime. It’ll never be the answer to your problems, but more so a change in your approach to all the curve-balls your life throws at you.