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Self care is important. But if you’re anything like me it can be hard to come up with self care ideas that aren’t just bubble baths, chocolate bars, and pedicures.

If you’ve spent any time in online business circles then you know that self care is a buzzword right now. Maybe it won’t be by the time you read this in the distant future. Maybe it’ll be so common that you shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, and say ‘well, obviously’. It’s just something that’s so ingrained in our culture that we don’t think twice about it. Like eating 3 meals a day or brushing our teeth or self-driving cars (I’m thinking ahead).

But until we hit that day I’m going to talk about it. Because it’s an ongoing struggle for me. And because I want to be more open about it and my struggle with mental health. Because self care and mental health are, without a doubt, linked.

A few months ago I came across this article about self care and the whole thing made me bristle. Besides the fact that it was really shame-y, totally projecting her own experience like it was everyone else’s, and incredibly judge-y, part of it hit home with me. And I didn’t want it to.

I resonated with the fact that self care isn’t just eating ice cream and french fries. Sometimes it can be–because if you wanna eat a fucking french fry you should eat a fucking french fry. But it’s so much more than that, too.

Sometimes I think that bubble baths and chocolate bars and pedicures are the easy way out in the sense that if you eat a salad you must be healthy. You know? Plus, we often tend to gloss over the fact that self care isn’t the same for everyone. I have a friend who views pedicures as their own special form of torture. She’d much rather sit out on her back deck and read an entire book in one sitting.

Self care ideas can be more than spa days. 

Sometimes self care is saying no without feeling like you have to explain yourself. It’s setting boundaries around your time and relationships. It’s taking 30 minutes to indulge in a good book. It’s brushing your teeth or washing your face or putting on deodorant when you’re struggling through a bout of depression.

Sometimes self care is dancing around the room to your favorite song. It’s going to the movies in the middle of the workday. It’s taking a mental health day without feeling guilty. It’s organizing or cleaning your physical space so you free up some mental energy. It’s taking a nap without setting an alarm. It’s turning off your smartphone for a day.

Self care is whatever you need it to be to give your mind, body, and soul a breather. It can be scheduled or spontaneous. It can be hard (making yourself journal when you aren’t that keen on confronting that limiting belief) or it can be easy (jamming out to your favorite tunes).

And yes. Self care CAN be pedicures and chocolate bars and bubble baths and spa days. Because it’s whatever works for you. All I ask is that you feed your soul what it needs even if what it needs is the hard stuff. Don’t default to the easy shit just because it’s easy or expected. Do the hard shit too and you’ll feed your soul well.

Try not to lose self care inside of self indulgence and call it a day. What are some of your favorite ‘non-mainstream’ self care ideas?

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