Self Care: so much more than being healthy

Self-care, not to be mistaken for ‘self-love’ (a common mistake of my male friends) is: ‘actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness’. Sounds fab right!

As a young adult on treatment for a tumour it is certainly something I have more actively thought about and practiced in the past few months, and I am completely convinced- self-care’s no.1 fan over here.

It promotes a healthy balance that focuses on happiness rather than impossible to stick to regimes that create angst, self-loathing and orthorexia

There are some common misconceptions that self-care is another health trend like clean eating or Bikram Yoga. It certainly isn’t. The essence of self-care is behaviours that make you happy, yes being healthy does improve wellbeing, but conversely sometimes being extremely unhealthy is also just what your mental and emotional health ordered. There is a lot of chat about it being a fad that will soon pass, I sincerely hope not and I personally plan to self-care forever. Self-care is such a healthier concept than some of the health fads going around that preach perfection and create obsession. It promotes a healthy balance that focuses on happiness rather than impossible to stick to regimes that create angst, self-loathing and orthorexia. If I have anything to do with it, self-care is here to stay.

drunk slut dropping is self-care

So this is where my argument gets really compelling, if drinking prosecco by the bucket load and slut dropping all night with your friends makes you happy then drunk slut dropping is self-care. Convinced yet? 🙋

Some of my favourite self-care activities:

  • Hanging with my best bitches (sometimes accompanied by wine)
  • A night in just me and my cat with candles, a face mask, and a good book (sometimes accompanied by wine)
  • A night in tapping away on my keyboard (sometimes accompanied by wine)
  • A full night out on the tiles, with mandatory dancing (always accompanied by wine)
  • Hanging upside from a pole (never accompanied by wine, boo)

Anyone see a pattern here?

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Kitten cuddles, self-care points: 100

Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in being healthy, eating well and exercising regularly. There is only so much wine and cheese a girl can consume without feeling like a warm partially melted slab of brie, a feeling that certainly doesn’t promote well-being or self esteem. Self-care is a fine art, and to reach optimum happiness levels you need to balance the naughty and nice things you enjoy in the right measures. My sweet spot is approximately 70% delicious healthy food with wine free activities and relaxing, and 30% pure filth.

When you have been diagnosed with cancer and you’re on treatment, there is a lot trying to get in the way of you and your happiness, and regularly thinking about and practicing self-care is a very necessary way to break through that added barrier of negativity. I’m personally on a treatment that fecks around with my hormones making me tired and depressed, as well as making me feel like a dried up old hag! That little (massive) monthly injection is always there to bring me down to about 60-70% of my normal spirit and sprightliness. I have to work so much harder to break through that bastard induced menopause (other treatments are available) to feel myself, and this is where self-care really excels itself.

Making time for yourself to rest or indulge is not a selfish act

I know this can be hard to achieve, us humans are especially bad at looking after ourselves. We are usually rather good at looking after other people, especially the mums out there, who are often their last priority and overlooked in their own eyes. I have spoken to a few mums with various cancers and it always seems to be the case that they still never find the time to look after themselves. So please, listen to me and SIT THE FUCK DOWN WOMAN! Ship off your responsibilities and do something for you, you deserve it, you need it. Making time for yourself to rest or indulge is not a selfish act and it should be actively encouraged, especially if you are living with cancer. As everyone says, your health is the most important thing you have. And, well, if you don’t have that then your sanity and well-being is certainly your next number one priority. Everyone will have different self-care practices, find and do what works for you. Whatever makes you feel relaxed, happy, stress free and good about yourself. If you aren’t sure, traditional relaxation methods like yogameditation, or beauty therapies are a good place to start.

I have some top feel good self-care tips to help you along the way:

  • Shave your legs at least once a week. I know it seems pointless sometimes, especially in winter when you are fully covered and no one is going near those spider legs. But, that feeling when you are freshly shaven, you’ve maybe even popped on some moisturiser, dreamy, for all of two seconds you feel like Giselle. Then your nice warm jammies go on and don’t come off until next week’s sesh. It is so worth it for those five minutes of feeling like a goddess off of a venus advert, obviously if you are one of those super women that manage to shave more than once a week, keep at it.
  • Find at least one full evening a week to sit down and do whatever you want that involves very little movement. Put on your favourite film, do your nails or maybe slip from self-care to self-love (whatever floats you boat). Just relax and remember this time is for you and no one else, some traditional and ever effective R&R.
  • Buy and wear very nice pyjamas. My pyjamas have never had so much airtime as the last few months so why not wear some that make you look and feel good. That small silky thing at the back of your wardrobe isn’t for anyone else, it is for you! If you are spending more and more time in your pyjamas make sure they make you feel comfy, sexy and indulgent. That way you don’t end up feeling like a gross ugly slob for being in trackies all day. Top this by also wearing nice underwear every day for the hell of it. I haven’t quite managed to nail this yet, but I did get as far as an underwear shopping spree. They may not have made it out of the draw, but those pretty sets I bought make me feel better already.
  • Sex. You might feel tired and shitty, you might not have time or you might be a dried up old hag with no libido like me (thanks Zoladex). Try make the effort to keep your sex life active. Nothing quite beats negative feels like a good shag.

 

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