Sunday 16 July 2023

Nerd Church - The Nebulousness Of Self-Care (Or 'What Do I Need?!')

Warning: Vague discussions of mental health issues

Disclaimer Time: I am not any sort of psychological, medical, or healthcare professional. I am a chick with an internet connection: nothing more, nothing less.

Title: The Nebulousness Of Self-Care (Or 'What Do I Need?!')

Does anyone else find it hard to figure out what sort of self-care they need?

Because it's not all bubble baths and scented candles 

- in fact I have to be careful with bubble baths in case my skin allergies freak out, and I don't like lighting candles anywhere near the cats because that's just an accident waiting to happen...

And apart from all that, the consumerist, one-size-fits-all, version of self-care does not, in fact, fit all.

So, amongst the nebulousness of self-care - 

ranging, as it does, from eating lunch and taking meds through to crystals and that cucumber-eye-thing 

- how the hell do we figure out what we need and when we need it?

Perhaps there's people who don't find that difficult - but I do.

And I'm sure that I'm not the only one (...although, maybe I am - who knows?)

Sometimes, what you need is obvious: 

you're hungry, you're tired, etc.

Sometimes it's not:

am I tired? Or do I just feel brain fog-y? Or am I bored? Or am I genuinely exhausted?

Sometimes it's downright impossible: 

I don't know WTF I'm feeling, so how could I possibly know how to fix it?!

But when I Google 'what sort of self care do I need?' what comes up is mostly talking about why you need self-care.

Which - I got that, interwebs, thanks.

A few results say that you need different types of self-care - at VeryWellMind, Elizabeth Scott, PhD says that there are seven 'pillars' of self-care:

'The seven pillars of self-care fall into the following areas: physical, social, mental, spiritual, emotional, recreational, and environmental.'

(See? I research this sh** and everything! 😅)

But even that's not really what I'm talking about. 

I know I have different aspects of my life - 

albeit some of those particular labels for said aspects are suspiciously hippie-ish... 

*pokes with foot*

 ...I know when things are hippie-ish, because I've spent much of my life watching my parents figure out where to place wind chimes for 'flow.' Ugh. 

If it works for you, then go with it, and do so with my sincere good wishes, but my tolerance level for that kind of thing in my own life is extremely low.

- Anyway, getting off track.

(Which is not exactly unusual, but we'll gloss over that 😅)

Like I said, I know I have different aspects of my life, whatever labels you want to give them.

What I want to know is what to do about it.

Yup, I'm talking about the practical, 'what do I do?', level of stuff.

Sometimes it's intuitive but other times, like I said earlier - especially when you're struggling - it's not so easy.

Basically: how do I pick whether to, for example, read fanfiction as self-care, or watch a YouTube video? 

How do I figure out if I need a nap, or a walk? 

Do I need to listen to music? What type of music will actually help my mood, right now, this moment, instead of bringing it down?

What. Do. I. Need???

That's what I need to know.

That's what I need help with figuring out.

I know that no-one can tell me exactly what I need - me and my own brain need to have a fight over that one - but some kind of a... 

...I don't know, a framework? 

A practical guide to self-care decisions? 

Some sort of acknowledgement that this sh** is not so easy? And that you can't throw scented candles at a thing and make everything better?

- something along those lines wouldn't go amiss, y'know?

Do you get what I'm talking about here?

How do you figure out what self-care you need?

Talk to me! 😊💬

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  1. "you can't throw scented candles at a thing and make everything better"
    LOL, no, you definitely can't. I call bulls#it.

    I'm different, in that I know what I need, but I can't have, I need a vacation (from life haha), I need to de-stress, I need to stop being a caregiver for a darned day...even the little things (like waking up later or sitting with a book) clash with the reality of my life sometimes...

    1. 'I need to stop being a caregiver for a darned day' --- Mood! Being a carer is tough af, and you rock, OK?

      I have a new(-ish) rule in my role as carer - I don't let anyone assume. That means I don't try to pre-empt the needs of the person I care for, and they have to *ask* me for things (and use 'please'), instead of assuming I'll drop everything and do whatever it is without even needing to be asked. It helps with the over-working tendencies on my part (*laughs nervously*)

  2. Very well-researched, Cee! I get your feelings rn. I've been dealing with a new ongoing health issue for a month and waking up I'm just not sure what I need any more lol. I guess taking things slow is a good first step, but the feeling of not being able to pinpoint the root of an issue is frustrating.

    1. *hugs* - Hope things are as good as they can be, Em!

      Argh, yes! I hate being asked 'what's wrong?' when I'm having a bad Depression day, for example, because there's not necessarily *anything* wrong - and in some ways that's worse, 'cos there's nothing I can fix.


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