The Dirty Side of Self-Care

By Donna Stark

I was at a barbeque the other weekend and as it usually happens, the kids head off to the fun stuff and the adults sit around and talk. The topic of conversation got on to how we are all surviving this thing called “adulting,” but for the sake of this article, I’ll refer to as how we practice self-care. Usually, when you hear about self-care, you think of massages, private meditation sessions at that expensive spa down the road, and the occasional bath filled with essential oils and surrounded by organic handmade soy candles. It seems that for some, self-care only counts if it is Instagram-picture-worthy. But self-care should really run a lot deeper than that three-second camera click, don’t you think?

Bring the Substance Back to Self-Care

Sure, it’s great fun and super relaxing to indulge in those mani-pedi’s or to sit in a bath of melted chocolate (yes, that is a thing), but do you want a momentary good feeling or do you want long-term wellness? Do you want a temporary fix or do you want to actually take care of yourself? Here are some suggestions on how to include actual self-care into your daily lifestyle.

  • Get your blood pumping, exercise, and sweat at least a couple of times a week
  • Remove toxic relationships
  • Follow morning and nighttime routines
  • Invest in healthy foods and cook for yourself, or ...
  • Learn how to cook if you’re too dependent on the microwave
  • Lower your debt
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Balance your life between work, family, and friends
  • See your doctors and chiropractors regularly

Being Normal

The art of perfection that most of us fall into at different points in our life has somehow also seeped into our perception of what self-care really means. Indulgences are great, vacations are needed, and sure, bath oils make bath time so much better … after all, you work hard to be able to enjoy these wonderful life pleasures and it is fun to post pretty pictures. But remember, sometimes self-care is simply just about being normal. It’s perfectly OK if there is a night when you need to prioritize sleep over the dishes in your sink. It’s also OK to have regular, unexceptional days that you spend in your sweatpants folding laundry.

Self-care doesn’t have to be purchased nor does it only count if you are wrapped in a fluffy white robe. Self-care is often the nitty-gritty, dirty part of life, but that’s what makes it beautiful. You are making the choice to create a life of long-term wellness. You are choosing a life that feels good over a life that “looks good.” So take a risk. Why don’t you start posting pictures of real self-care and of the hard work that it takes to achieve it? Let the world see your sweat, post a picture of your last car payment being made, and maybe, just maybe, give everyone a glimpse of yourself folding clothes in your old college sweatpants.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesa, Ariz.

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