I don’t know about you but I hate the term ‘self care’ or ‘self love’.
For me, I think this irritation with this term actually largely stems from a therapist I once had whose automatic response to just about anything was, ‘be kind to yourself’….
It got to the point that I would be timing how soon into the appointment these words would escape her lips and quite frankly her repeating this phrase, like a broken record, did little to get me better.
Each time she advised me in her gentle voice to treat myself with kindness, I wanted to poke her in the eye… but apparently that is not very appropriate behaviour, so instead I sat on my hands and held my tongue and nodded and smiled.
And since then being told to try a bit of self care or self love has had a similar violent reaction deep within me!
But, I do understand the notion of self care and why we should adopt a bit more self care and self love in our lives… Find ways to de-stress, focus inwards for a while, identify within ourselves what we might actually be feeling, what our body and mind are trying to communicate with us and treat ourselves with a bit more respect for once!!
I get that self care of the body and mind is a wonderful thing and actually might make us feel a bit better in ourselves and in turn make us even kinder to others and so nicer to be around perhaps!!
And so few of us take the time for self care these days.
With the internet age and life on a 24 hour go, go, go wheel of frantic activity, we don’t tend to ever stop our brains, even if we stop our body (well I don’t!!).
Does anyone else remember those amazing days before the internet….?
Those days when the only thing to do upon an evening really was focus on the television or a book or take a bath or (shock horror!) have a conversation with a real live person?!?
We had to switch off in those days because there was less to switch onto and I think we were better for it.
With this eating disorder, I am terrible at switching off. The eating disorder brain loves us to be on the go and frantically busy every waking moment… time being ‘unproductive’ creates intense guilt and the ED brain definitely sees typical ‘self care’ methods as unproductive, when these are perhaps the most productive things we can do!
I realise lately that my time of stopping my buzzing brain and not just body is no where near enough and I need to address this, as when I keep so little self care in my life, my recovery also suffers.
So, I am going to start addressing my lack of self care.
But I am not going to call it self care or self love because, as I said above, these terms do not sit well with me.
Instead I am going to call it what it really is,
‘It is all about me time!!’
Yes, I shall be taking a bit more ‘it’s all about me time’ from now on.
I will switch off screens and phones much earlier in the evening and I will find ways to truly relax my brain and not just my body…
And in doing so, I think my ‘it’s all about me time’ will help me heal from this illness and in turn mean I can be a little bit less all about me in future.
NB … I also realise that the fact the very thought of switching off a bit more and taking a bit more time out of frantic mode fills me with dread is even more of a sign I need to do it!!