To say that I am Type A would be an understatement. I eat, sleep, live, and breathe exceptionalism. If I’m going to do something, I should do it right. Right?
In high school, I would cry if I got a 90 on an essay. In college, I would sulk for the rest of the day if I couldn’t get a workout in. As a young adult, I prioritize work over sleep, leading to many nights of only 4 hours of rest. My parents always encouraged me to do my best, but I think I took that advice a little too literally. After all, can anyone ever really do “their best?” Can’t you always do more?
For a few years after college, I let myself breathe. Recently, though, I find myself falling into old patterns. I think I’ve found the culprit of my try-hard fixation, and yes, I know it sounds ironic: society’s obsession with self-care has given me an unhealthy perspective of what I should be.
Physical health is #1! There’s no reason why you can’t do a small workout every day!
Remember to keep 37 daily journals tracking your mood, activities, food, goals, inspo, and gratitude!
You have as many hours in your day as celebrities and CEOs do!
Don’t get me wrong, self-care is so very important! The problem, though, is that the high volume of these types of advice make us feel like we have to do it all.
I’ve been navigating through the depths of self-care, and am finally coming to a place where I feel as though I can indulge in authentic, pressure-free self-care routines. I’m sharing my secrets with you, so that you can find peace, too. Here are the 5 things no one told you about self-care:
1. Don’t lose the “self” in “self-care.”
Since becoming a social-media phenomenon, self-care has turned into a competition. We then engage in practices not for actual self-care, but to look like we are engaging in self-care. But the secret to self-care is that it is entirely personal. What makes one person feel happy, healthy, and at peace is not guaranteed to fulfill another person.
When you’re feeling tired or burnt out, ask yourself: what do you really need? Keep in mind that your answer might change every time you ask this question, and that’s okay! Sometimes you might need to go for a long walk (or even a run!), and other times you might need an hour to veg out on the couch. There is no magic truth to self-care. Do what you need to do to recharge.
2. Small changes make big differences.
Much of the online conversation surrounding self-care discusses the idea that in many ways, hard work and productivity are forms of self-care. After all, physical, emotional, mental, and financial health don’t come without effort. That being said, an overabundance of productivity masked as self-care can do more harm than good, especially when it is at the expense of relaxation time.
If you’re looking to engage in some self-improvement, it’s important to start small. Future goals are great, but aiming to achieve lofty goals in too-short of a time period is overwhelming and causes people to give up after they’ve barely started. Looking to improve your health? Start with drinking more water. Need to catch up on some Zzz’s? Start your bedtime routine a half hour earlier. Beginning your journey with small changes, and increasing your goals slowly over time, is more likely to create long-lasting habits.
3. You can’t pour from an empty glass.
I know I am the pot calling the kettle black here, but there comes a point where enough is enough. There is only so much we can do in a day. Stretching yourself thin doesn’t mean you’re being more efficient— you’re just producing lower-quality work for a higher quantity of tasks. Re-evaluate your priorities, and cut out what isn’t serving you.
My biggest self-care tip comes down to three words: give yourself grace. Know when you are up for a task, and when you need to take a break. Don’t sacrifice other important aspects of life, such as sleep and socialization, for the sake of productivity. In fact, if you take time to rest, you’re more likely to be more productive when you get back to work.
4. Take time to get to know yourself.
Even if you’re on-board for a healthy approach to self-care, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Truth be told, figuring out what works for you takes some trial-and-error. Don’t feel pressured to become a yogi just because that’s what your best friend loves, but also don’t be afraid to go to a yoga class and see what it’s all about! Try new things, pay attention to what makes you feel like your best self, and incorporate those moments into your routine.
We must not forget that self-care means taking care of all your needs. Yes, I’m talking about your private time alone in bed! There is no shame in any acts of self-care which make you feel fulfilled and at peace. As a self-proclaimed goody-two-shoes myself, it took me far too long to realize the benefits of orgasms. A truly ah-worthy orgasm is about far more than just a physical feeling— a little bit of alone time makes me feel refreshed, refocused, and ready to take on the world. If your orgasms don’t make you feel that way, it’s probably time to try something new.
LELO is the holy-grail of sex toy companies. I started my journey with the SORAYA™ 2, a luxurious take on the classic rabbit vibrator. Early in my journey of, ahem, self-discovery, I bought a few rabbits; they all seemed the same to me, and none were earth-shattering. The Soraya 2, though, is perfectly shaped for all of your pleasure spots, creating an experience that dispels the myth that all rabbits are the same. I’ve since become a LELO junkie, and have purchased almost every one of their vibrator styles. My favorite changes with the times, but right now I’m hooked on the SONA™ 2 Cruise; external pleasure is what works best for me, and this toy is perfect for achieving a chill-worthy big O.
You might think that talking about masturbation is TMI, but I disagree— pleasure is a major component of true self-care that is overlooked and not discussed enough. At the end of the day, we’re humans, not robots. Self-care isn’t about working tirelessly, it’s about regaining energy and peace so that we can be our best selves. And orgasms do exactly that, just on a biological level!
5. There is no “right” or “wrong” approach to self-care
I can offer you all the advice in the world, but the heart of self-care is figuring out what makes you feel like the shiniest, most-sparkly version of yourself. Forget about creating an aesthetic, and instead focus on what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you that your self-care practices are wrong— if it works, it works! You might find that you enjoy unusual acts of self-care, or you might find that different practices fulfill you at different points of your life. There’s no one answer to what self-care is or what it should look like— self-care is a journey.
Start your authentic self-care journey today!
Get started on your path to rest and rejuvenation by stocking up on everything you need for your first trial round of fun and exciting practices. Make a starter list of activities you want to try, and figure out what steps you need to take to begin your journey. Invest in yourself; don’t commit to one straight-and-narrow path, but instead commit to trying.
Don’t forget to stop by LELO and grab some goodies— that’s one investment you certainly won’t regret.