Up the Ante: Self-Care that Challenges

It has been a bit since we've talked about self care.

Which is great, because apparently that's polarizing now, and uh, who knew. 

I feel like y'all have a really good idea on where I am at with self-care.

But if you don't, go over here and read about how I truly believe that self-care is a hell of a lot more than paying a lot for coffee and calling it self-care. (Hint: you must actually focus on what/why/how to care for yourself while practicing self-care. Otherwise you're just, you know, buying coffee and hoping that you feel better because of it.)


I started trying something new in this season...self-care that forces me to be outside of my bubble. And If you'll bear with me just a bit here, we can talk about a bubble first.

When my life is like...this. And it is hard for me to do things like eat, or run, or tell people what's going on - I get very comfortable in my shell. Very.

I wear a lot of the same comfy outfits. I eat the same three or four meals (literally.) If I run, I run the same routes. I make my whole life as routine as possible - because that is easy, and safe, and predictable. And those things don't hurt.

My bubble is simple. It's black and white. It's yes and no. It's do this, get that.

While I definitely like that comfort, it is not really conducive to, well, growth, for one. I've also come to see that it is also, arguably, not great when it comes to actively caring for myself. It allows me to protect myself, yes. But not care.


Acknowledging that self-care can be challenging, and even something that forces you to be uncomfortable, has been really important for me in the last few weeks.

But...what does that look like, right? What does challenging yourself, while caring for yourself look like?

It looks like running on roads I deemed too risky, or too public. 

It looks like forcing myself to go new restaurants, stores, and classes that I've never been to before.

It looks like trying my damndest to work outside of what I can easily cook and eat.

It looks like playing with makeup, when I would rather just crawl into bed.

It looks like talking to new people.

It looks like it should be easy, but it is hard, conscious work.

It is a damn challenge for me to be okay with enjoying that risky running route. It's hard for me to embrace the idea of having fun in a new place, or liking a new restaurant. It isn't easy for me to cook new things, or make new outfits - when standbys are comfortable.

But doing those things is ushering me into a new level of confident, of happy even if, of capable, and strong, and you know - being a well-cared for individual.  Because when you recognize that comfort isn't serving you, that challenge becomes far more important.

And that challenge becomes a new way to care for yourself. What you're doing to care for yourself is important, really, and I don't want to discount that. But whether it is a pedicure, a six mile run through downtown Burlington, or breaking in a new cookbook - it is why you are doing it and how you are using that time and that energy that has the value.

Self-care isn't just an action.

Self-care is learning to embrace a need within you that asks for more. More time to yourself, more courage, more challenge, more moments of reflection, more chances to grow.

Self-care is listing to why you are asking for more. You aren't craving the time to yourself, the courage, the challenge, the moments of reflection, and the chances to grow because it is trendy to post about self-care on the internet.

Although if you are, maybe reevaluate? 

You are craving it because something is missing.

Maybe, you're like me, and you're lonely as hell and playing it safe so that you can work your way back to being the badass dream slayer that you know yourself to be. 

Maybe, you've been in the same spot too long. Maybe, you've let the unhealthy relationships in your life bog you down. Maybe you've been lying to yourself about what does feel like a challenge.

And maybe, it is just time to look at what caring for yourself, means to you.

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