A Lot More Than Coffee

Self care may be one of the biggest buzzwords you're seeing on instagram/facebook/where ever you follow complete strangers but get very invested in their lives.

(Well, that and "community" and "vibes" and "cultivate" - all of which I am very over for very different reasons.)

Anyways, self care needs a bit unpacking, doesn't it?

Because I think a lot of times you'll see posts that say, "oh, I went to 7 AM yoga today, because #selfcare."

Or, "I brought my wine in the bath because #selfcare."

Or, my favorite, "I just had to stop at Starbucks today for a little #selfcare."

Girl. My caffeine problem is not self care. And no way in hell is paying for the overpriced stuff a form of care. It's a form of me having a craving and giving no shits about how small the balance on my gold card is.


That's exactly what I mean, it's a buzzword.

And I am not saying that I am not down for Starbucks, and baths, and 7 AM yoga. (I mean, scratch the yoga part, but let's say, 7 AM runs.) I am so down for those things.

But I really think that is distorting the image of self care. I mean, honest-to-goodness, caring for yourself.

Because here's the thing - those things are not actually going to train you to care for yourself.

That's the real idea behind self care, by the way. It's creating a learned behavior that brings you health and happiness internally by actions you preform on behalf of that goal.

For instance, running throughout the week is a form of self care when it is something you do to clear your head, maintain physical fitness, breathe fresh air, and engage in your surroundings.

Its not self care, when you're doing it because you feel like you have to. Or if you're doing it without joy and purpose.

Simply put, neither is your trip to Starbucks.

Enjoying a cup of whatever is self care when you are taking time to be present with your thoughts and feelings, while engaging in some form of relaxation with the goal of teaching your mind and your body to take the time to be at ease.

Its not self care when you're doing it for the Instagram, and you suck down that liquid goodness without taking the time to wonder why you felt like you needed some kind of treat.

See, I'm all for self care taking 1000 different forms with 1000 different people.

What I'm not for is diluting the practice down to something like grabbing the bag of peanut butter cups at Trader Joe's and calling it self care.

The purpose after all is care. That's a treat. That's a fun little thing you're giving yourself.

Totally great. Yes, I shout treat yo self all the time.

But that is not how we learn to care for ourselves. To recognize when we need peace, quiet, rest, endorphins, conversation, water, therapy, vegetables, a shower, or sure, an extra cup of coffee.

So my issue with this buzzword, with this insane practice of vainly pretending that we know what it means to care about our wellbeing, is that there is so much value to actually knowing what it means to care for yourself. There is so much to be gained from learning to embrace a time when you need to give your heart and your head some more attention.

I'm sorry, but the reality is, if every treat you give yourself, every good "healthy" deed you do for you, isn't backed by a goal of actual self care, you haven't figured it out yet.

And sure, there are days when I eat Cheez Its because I want some.

The thing is, you don't have to call it self care. Call it, I wanted Starbucks. Call it, I made a salad for lunch. Call it, I work out because I want to look hot.

That doesn't make it any less valid or enjoyable.

But it sure as hell makes the actual self care feel so much more important.

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