I’m getting really sick of the consumer-istic culture that surrounds the “self care” movement.
“Treat yo’ self.”
“Splurge on something.”
“Do something that feels good.”
I’m sorry, but if there’s anything that I’ve learned from falling into these lies its that its a temporary distraction.
You see, self care is actually really hard.
Self care isn’t just bath bombs and a glass of wine.
Self care takes discipline and intentionality.
It looks like facing those things that trigger anxiety and stress head on.
Sometimes it could be cleaning the house of all your clutter.
It could be quitting that job that is killing you on the inside trusting that God will provide another.
Maybe self care looks like saying “no” to commitments you have made or you feel obligated to make. (Even if you’re terrified of letting people down.)
Sometimes it might be cancelling plans you have been looking forward to because you’re coming down with a cold.
It could be sitting down and looking at your finances and making a budget to get out of debt.
Self care could be having that conversation with a person who has hurt you deeply.
Maybe it’s ending a toxic relationship that has been tearing you down.
It could even be sitting down by yourself and processing those emotions you have been running from.
Self care can be those hard decisions.
Decisions that ultimately take care of your well-being while setting aside the need to please those around you or be distracted by pleasure.
Spoiling yourself with mani-pedis and a new outfit isn’t what self care is about. And as much as I love candles, it’s not about lighting a candle and binging Netflix all night. It isn’t even going on a date, or spending time with people you love all the time.
Most likely, all those lists of self care ideas you see on Pinterest aren’t what you need to do to take the best care of yourself.
They will just distract you from those things that are causing stress and anxiety. It’s honestly a waste of your time and energy when you could simply take steps to remove the stressor in the first place.
May we be a people who recognize the false promises of consumer-based self care.
The lie that if we spoil ourselves long enough, or distract ourselves long enough, that we will feel rested and refreshed- only to feel the need to do it again tomorrow.
Could we be self aware enough to see what is triggering the anxiety, and brave enough to take active steps toward removing it?
Jesus didn’t come live a perfect life, die a gruesome death, and be resurrected to life and conquer sin and death for us to run away from our sin and problems and towards manicures, bath bombs, and the mall. We have His power and wisdom in us to run to His Word, His promises, and true healing.
I have a challenge for us the next time we practice self care:
The next time you feel overwhelmed and stressed, take time to sit down and make a list of things that are making you feel that way. Then choose one or two of those things to take active steps towards lessening the stress that they are causing.
That way when you sit down and binge Netflix or go shopping you can simply enjoy it and know that when you return to real life you won’t just need to escape tomorrow.
Comment ways that you are going to take care of yourself this weekend!