Exactly how much can you get away with in the name of self care? Asking for a friend….except that friend is myself….and I don’t really care how much I can get away with as self care, because I needed it, and there’s literally nobody telling me I can’t..not even the fine folks at American Express.
My mental health has been a somewhat rapidly declining shit show for the past couple of weeks. I know what I could do to change it, but I also know that the change I REALLY want to make isn’t a feasible solution, because there’s that whole house I need to sell, job I’d need to find, and ridiculously overpriced new housing market, so really, it’d just introduce an entirely new kind of stress in my life.
Weekends are the absolute worst, because if I’m not out of town, I spend WAY too much time alone with my thoughts, and trust me when I say, this isn’t a pleasant place to be sometimes. So this weekend, I forced myself to go out in public and actually do something instead of sitting at home in a horrible anxiety cycle feeling sorry for myself. I went to lunch with some friends, snuggled a brand new baby, and had a delicious drink, then shared my pictures from my photo shoot I did in December with them, because they’re in my car all the time and they wanted to see them. I got my eyebrows waxed so I didn’t have to do it myself, bought an Italian soda, and had a pedicure and massage, all in the name of self care.
The problem was, I still had to go home, and that’s where all the solo self care in the world doesn’t help, because the whole being in public by myself thing is doable, but being home by myself is just so soul sucking lately. So, I did the only thing I could think of that would work, short of taking enough Benadryl to sleep until Monday, and texted my best friend a meme that said “If I tell you I need you, do not take it lightly. I do everything I can to never have to depend on anyone, to never show weakness, and if I say that I need you, it means I am trusting you to catch me when I fall.” And boy did he ever catch me, instantly, and from over 100 miles away. He momentarily fixed literally everything I tried to shop away in the name of self care over the course of an hour’s worth of back and forth text messages. (Yes, I know a phone call would be easier, but 1- I don’t use my phone for that, and 2- The kinds of things he was saying, are really best when you’re able to read them again, and again, and again, and again, because they’re the kinds of things a girl just needs to hear more than once.)
That text message exchange was the best “self care” I ever could have asked for, and I could have stopped there, BUT…I didn’t. The next day, I shopped again in the name of self care and bought a designer pen that I didn’t need, but hey, it was Ted Baker, and it was insanely affordable, so #selfcaresunday justification for that one. 3pm nap. Self care, check. Post work grocery store run for all of the sparkling water flavors. Self care, check. Ice cream for dinner… Self care, check…check…checkity check. But wait, there’s more! Monday manicure in the name of self care, you bet! Finally caving to the Easter candy section of the grocery store and then eating eggs for dinner…..Cadbury eggs that is. Sure, why not. It’s self care after all!
That’s a whole lot of self care justified shopping/pampering over the course of 72 hours, and I’m not about to start thinking I shouldn’t have done it, or that I didn’t deserve one bit of it, but now it’s really probably time for the hard part of self care. The part where I need to have a serious conversation with my doctor about my stress levels and mental health in the name of self care. The part where I eat the whole foods, and do the cardio in the name of self care. The part where I keep surrounding myself with people who are good for me, and let go of the ones who aren’t, all in the name of self care. It’s time for the real self care, not just the fun kind, because self care isn’t all massages and manicures.