Nearly three years ago now I wrote a blog post about the self-care craze and how important it is to ensure we take time for ourselves to ‘tap out’ of being online all the time and to take time for ourselves to reflect, unwind and switch off. I still believe in all the tips in that article and they have certainly served their purpose for me (check the blog post out here), however, I’ve also realised this……
“I’VE BEEN DOING SELF-CARE ALL WRONG AT ITS VERY CORE!!!!”
At its very basic level, self-care is about, just that – caring for ourselves. Yet, after having a pretty scary wake-up call recently I have realised that NO amount of smoothies, meditation or walks along the beach, will save me from not taking care of myself at the very base level.
What do I mean by this? I mean, sticking to health appointments, following up on concerns you might have and not falling into the trap of saying “I am too busy”, because what we are really saying is “my health isn’t a priority”. And it is easy to take it for granted, particularly if you have had a really good run health wise. It’s easy to assume you’ll always be like that and therefore not stay on top of the things that you should – e.g Drs appointments, annual check-ups, skin checks, etc.
You might be reading this going “yeah, no worries, I take my health seriously!”. Yep, I was saying that too. And it was all good and well, until I got hit with the truth bomb that I did saying I’ve got skin cancer in the form of melanoma. Boom. Just like that. I also knew pretty quickly that it had gotten to the stage that it did because I ignored it. Ignorantly had put other priorities first. Ignorantly thought I had more important things to do.
Now, that really isn’t self-care at all, is it? But I also get that it is so easy to fall into this trap like I did and think “nothing like this will happen to me”. Or, “I’m fine, I don’t have time for this”. Yet, somehow, we will still manage to make time for things not important and so not related to self-care, or to our health. None of the Instagram scrolling, the TV watching, or Netflixing really matters in the long run. We will never wish we did more of that.
And to be really honest, my first thought when I was told that the mole I had on my leg was cancerous, was GUILT. This was MY fault. I let it get this far. I knew deep down I needed to make an appointment ages ago, but I kept letting “busy” get in the way of important. I kept letting work take priority. Or, I’d keep making excuses to myself, like having meetings I couldn’t move, or projects I needed to do as an excuse. I don’t write this to be a martyr, and I definitely do not write it to rag on my workplace as it would have to be the most genuinely supportive place I have ever worked. I write it because I know I am not alone. I know there are others who would be using their “busyness” as an excuse. Their full diaries as a reason not to go to an appointment. I now have only one response for this…. STOP IT. We need to take accountability for ourselves and our health.
Why? Because your health needs to be number one, always. It must come first. It is the ultimate form of self-care and if you can make time to blend your morning smoothie, walk along the beach, do a yoga class, or scroll your Instagram feed, then you can 100% make time for your self-care at its very base level.
This blog has always prided itself on being honest, vulnerable and cutting through the crap. Part of that means me being completely honest with you all when sh*t gets a bit real in my own life. If even one person goes and makes a skin check appointment out of this blog, I’ll have achieved my goal.
If you’ve found yourself stuck in your own way – NOW is the time to get out of it. I can help you. Just ask me how. That is the first step.