Self-Care: Beyond The Face Masks & Bubble Baths
Updated: Jul 13
It's 7:00 on a Tuesday night. You had a rough day at work (or at work-from-home). You're stressed, you don't feel like dealing with anyone. A simple nap just won't cut it. You decide to pull out a face mask, a glass of wine, run some water for a nice bath or hot shower, and try to soak away, exfoliate away, and primp away your cares.
By 9:00, as you're laying in the bed, you realize that all of that "self-care" still didn't take away the anxiety, stress, and frustration you felt just a few moments earlier. Why is that?
It's because self-care is more than face masks, spa days, and bubble baths. Some of the best self-care starts from within. The best self-care that you can do is encompass the three elements that make up the core of who you are.
Mind. Body. Soul.
Sometimes self-care looks like facing trauma that you have neglected to address.
Sometimes self-care looks like letting go of people who are no longer meant for this season in your life.
Sometimes self-care looks like admitting that you don't know what you're doing and relinquishing control.
When the bubble baths get cold, and the face masks wash away, self-care is what (and who) you turn to after that. I used to think that if I put cucumber slices on my eyes, drank a cup of hot tea, and listened to smooth jazz while I was taking a bubble bath, I would suddenly feel fulfilled, and be "relaxed."
Most of the time, I didn't. Every spiritual anxiety, physical ache, and mind-boggling issues would still be awaiting me when I stepped out of the tub.
It made me ask, what happens beyond the bubble baths and face masks? What is "real self-care"?
Then I realized, self-care is not a luxury. Self-care is discipline.
You can't spend 300 dollars on a Telfar bag every time you're going through a crisis. You can't indulge in 5 pints of ice-cream and call it self-care. It's learning what your body needs, what your mind needs, and what your soul needs. Not always just embracing what you want.
Sometimes we need water when we want whiskey. But, these are some of the things I do when I need self-care that doesn't just last a few minutes.
Here are 5 Self-Care actions that go beyond the bubble baths and face masks.
1. Asking For Help When You Need It.
A lot of times when we think of self-care, we think it means how we can handle everything alone. But, an amazing form of self-care is allowing yourself to now you cannot do it all. The hustle does stop, despite what Instagram says. The grind does stop. When you are overwhelmed, the community that you have built to support you is supposed to be there to help you.
2. Reflecting on your journey and not just your destination. (Write it down)
We are always moving. We always want to be at the destination. We want to see the finish line. A great way to spend your "self-care day", is by taking a moment to enjoy the season you're in. Look at the journey you're on so that you see how many tiny destinations you have already reached along the way!
3. Spending 10 minutes talking to someone that inspires you to be better.
Community is a big word for me. When you feel yourself slipping into a state of depression, sadness, overwhelming anxiety, or just a mental slump, call someone who inspires you to be better and talk with them. Talk about things that make you cry, your wildest dreams, what you want to eat for dinner... anything.
4. Letting yourself embrace failure and learning from it. (Laugh at yourself and your mistakes, then go forward)
Nobody is posting their failures on their social media feed. For every job offer, college degree, new fitness milestone, fancy Berkin, new car, etc. there were probably hundreds of failures, declined cards, empty gas tanks, and rejections. Embrace them, and learn to truly laugh at yourself when you mess up.
5.Release your emotions (Cry in the shower, punch the air, etc)
This one is self-explanatory. That moment you want to listen to a sad song and cry in the car or sit down in the shower listening to old 90's R&B... do it. It helps. You don't have to be strong all of the time. It's okay to not have it together. Nobody does.
Peace & Love, D