Personal Growth Journey

In recent years, “self-care” has been a buzzword or phrase that is plastered just about everywhere! Literally, every other Facebook article, blog post, and self-help video is about the importance of self-care. These articles tell us the hows, whys, and whats of self-care that are supposed to help us to lead happier, less stressful lives. I totally get it; do a couple face masks, get a massage, take a weekend getaway, polish your nails, curl up with a glass of wine and a good book whilst taking a night off from your usual work.

Administrators always love to remind stressed, overworked, overwhelmed, teachers to “do something you enjoy” or “spend time with family” during the tough times throughout the school year. I mean after all, bosses have to say encouraging things to keep their employees and acknowledge their pain, right? However, what I’m not quite buying is the whole “self-care yourself through the toxic situation” mindset especially when the to-do list feels absolutely never-ending.

I don’t have a problem with the actual act of being kind to yourself. We should be gentle with ourselves, love ourselves, and most importantly treat ourselves well. We only get one mind and one vessel. It is soooo important to heal ourselves from our every day emotional labor and physical work. There is space for this kind of self-care. Self-care is important and that means something different to everyone. I can’t deny any of that. In fact, I believe all of that.

Here is where the issue lies. The issue lies in settling for a life you don’t want and coping with your choices by practicing “self-care”. If you continue to stay in toxic situations and forcing yourself to be content by going to a weekly yoga class or treating yourself to a massage, you are making a huge mistake. I don’t hate self-care by itself. But, it is absolutely gut-wrenching that people use self care to cope with their lives.

Self-care is not a band-aid for your toxic flesh wound of a relationship, job, or family issue. Self-care is not a remedy for having the life sucked out of you at a job you hate, being unhappy with someone who you have settled for, or continuing to have a relationship with a family member who turns your life upside down every time you speak. Self-care is not any of those things and self-care doesn’t

1. solve issues that exist in your life or

2. breathe life into dead situations that make your life less enjoyable.

Sometimes, self-care isn’t a facial, manicure, or binge watching a show on Netflix. Sometimes self-care actually presents an inconvenience to others and sometimes it makes others uncomfortable. Sometimes, it makes you unavailable for a while. Sometimes self-care is ceasing to feed dead situations. Sometimes self-care is travel.

Sometimes, self-care is walking away.

Advertisements
Diary of a 20 something, Personal Growth Journey

For the past few weeks, I have been swamped at work. I have been surviving on crackers, breakfast bars, and 5 hours of sleep. I have been eating takeout and drowning in mostly job dissatisfaction and a little bit of “I hate that I don’t have enough time to…”. Trying to “adult” is truly so hard and there is really no other way to say that. It’s that weird time in my life when I have to learn how to perform a balancing act. However, I’m  continually dropping the balls of life and trying to re-focus my efforts. During these times, what helps me the most is taking a day, an afternoon, even an evening to get my sh*t together. Sound familiar? Read on for details on my GYST routine.

The following list of things is just a bunch of stuff I do when my life is something like organized chaos and I am barely getting everything done. This is simply a list of things you can do for a soft reset on a tough week or month or to just re-focus yourself and organize your life if you are feeling unbalanced.

  1. Declutter

When I’m feeling super out of whack, I literally go through my clothing, shoes, accessories, household items, old mail, and get rid of any unwanted items. I make space, organize items, and just remove anything that is outdated, no longer needed, and generally no longer brining me satisfaction. Later on, I can replace the items with new ones or make the decision to just do without them. For example, I declutter my closet and every so often I find at least 6-7 clothing items I either sell or donate. The lack of clutter can also bring much needed mental clarity by clearing up physical space.

2. Clean

I mean I guess this one seems obvious, right? When I feel like I need to reset my life, I always clean and organize. I take the time to deep clean things like laundering every dirty or frequently used item in the house, including not only clothing but rugs, kitchen linens, and throw pillows.  I wipe down or dust hard surfaces and rearrange items in the house for a more polished or organized look. I am always sure to put laundry away neatly and sometimes I organize that messy towel cabinet or dish cabinet that needs attention. Try to clean or organize something that you have been wanting to clean for a while. It generally gives you a sense of accomplishment to check it off your mental to-do list.

3. Light candles & journal

Seems like a bit of an odd combination, but this can be really relaxing to do as I sit in a clean, well organized room in my house. Burning essential oils or lighting candles gives your place a relaxed vibe and journaling is an important part of self care. When I am performing my GYST routine, I usually take time to write down things I am grateful for and some things I want to manifest into my life in the next week or maybe month. I have so many different kinds of journals that I use to really invest time in myself when life gets hectic.

4. Meal Prep for the next couple days or just cook something

Honestly, cooking doesn’t happen as often as it should sometimes in my house because at the end of a long day sometimes cooking is the last thing on my mind. Part of my GYST routine is to cook a large meal that I can possibly continue to eat for the following couple of days. It makes me feel so organized because its one less thing I have to do. I can use my time the next day working on some other thing on my to do list. Once it has been done, cooking makes me feel like I have plenty of time to get things done. the illusion of time in tun makes me feel like I have it together. Also, being able to grab a pre-made healthy lunch and just go to work is probably one of the best feelings known to man or woman.

5. Plan

Put together a to-do list, update your calendar and planner, and just organize your agenda. This is so important because it really puts you on the right track to staying organized for a while. Making sure that your agenda is solid and you have reset your method of organization of dates and plans really makes things a little bit easier, especially when you stay consistent. Make a to-do list of all the small things that have been getting overlooked like making that doctor’s appointment, going to the dmv, getting an oil change, etc. This step will motivate you to get those little things done and feel more organized in the process.

There are so many other things you can incorporate into your GYST routine. Please comment below with things that you do when you need to get it together and get organized after rough week or month.

Sincerely,

Lacey Alanna