When I think of self care, I think of responsibility. Nobody is going to take care of you but you. They don’t have to – and even if they did – they are not you and don’t know what you truly need to be fulfilled. It is honestly listening to what your needs are and making it a priority to take care of yours before anyone else. And I’m not just talking about physical needs like hydration and exercise, but finding what you need mentally (and spiritually). I think of looking inside to find what living space, energy, environment and people to surround myself with. Self care is more than just doing right by yourself to survive. It’s also doing right by yourself to thrive.
I realized I needed to practice self care when I literally didn’t love myself enough to live. My depression, anxiety, heartbreak, attachment (and my willingness to drown it out by any means necessary) almost ended me. I spiraled out of control fast and didn’t care to stop it. Believe it or not, all this happened while I was practicing yoga, eating well, working full time, going out with friends and looking like it had it all together! So I overdosed on pills and booze and refused to go to the hospital. My ex left me so he wouldn’t have to see me die. The police showed up, and when I came to I realized that I was alone. Truly alone. I didn’t even have my phone to reach out to anyone.
It was in that moment that I realized that I was truly responsible for me. No one else was responsible for me. And if I was going to live, I needed to make the honest commitment to take care of myself. And because I was already doing all the surface #selfcare bullshit, I knew that physical exercise and organic food wasn’t the only answer for me. I laid in bed unable to move for almost 2 days figuring through the quagmire that had become my life. I realized that waiting and wanting someone to take care of me was silly and ultimately fruitless. It would take me a whole year to actually start to practice all of the things that I truly needed to look after myself. But the point was that I did start. and I’m still here. I’m alive, I’m breathing, and I’m healthy. I even dug deep and faced my fears, and went into yoga teacher training. I know that every day is a new lesson, a new opportunity to make the most of this life, this body. And I no longer take those things for granted.