Self-care comes in a lot of different forms. First thing what comes in mind is usually ways to relax our mind and body, think of meditation, taking a hot bath or just sitting in a park reading your favorite book. These are easy to execute and pampering ways to practice self-care. There are also ways that don’t seem like self-care at all in the first place but are equally important to practice the art of self-care.
Self-care starts first and foremost within ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that our outer environment doesn’t have any influence on it. It means that our response to our environment partially determines the quality and efficiency of our self-care.
When someone shows care for you, whether in words or actions, that trait can only transfer to you when you accept it wholly without second thoughts. We deprive ourselves of that awareness when we decline it by not believing it and just brushing it off as if it meant nothing to us. Learning to accept the gesture of care from others is actually a great way to learn how to practice self-care.
When you find it hard to care about yourself, other people can help us to see ourselves through their eyes instead of our own, which is mostly filled with self-doubt and self-hatred. When you acknowledge that someone cares about you, it will help you care more about yourself too.
You can take the hundredth hot bath, you can put the hundredth mask on your face, but if you don’t actually take matters in hand to understand the emotional turmoil that blocks you from loving yourself, no amount of pampering yourself will help you in the long run.
If you can’t name reasons to love or care for yourself, let others name those reasons for you. If you can’t accept yourself, let others accept you by acknowledging their caring feelings towards you. If you don’t believe yourself, let others believe you by believing their judgment towards you. You don’t have to do all the caring for yourself when it is too hard to do. Self-care doesn’t mean that you are on your own, it means you can ask for help. It means you can let others in your life and let them convince you that you are worth to care about. Self-care is not always a comfortable process, sometimes it needs to be messy first so it will later turn comfortable and soothing.
Sometimes it takes a whole village or just only a person to let you realize that you are worth it. Sometimes it takes one gesture, a word or a listening ear to let you realize that you are worth it. Self-care can only work its magic when you acknowledge your worth in the first place. And when you can’t do that, it’s okay. What’s not okay is that you deprive yourself the chance to love yourself when someone else shows it to you and you turn it down by not believing it.