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Does the term "self-care" feel exhausting?

"I just don't want to," I say to myself as I lay in bed knowing I should be doing a yoga stretch or meditation, reading something on enlightenment, and getting off my phone. Why does self-care feel a lot like work sometimes? Even the little things like 5 minutes of deep breathing or journaling 5 sentences about my day. I think part of this comes from having almost too many options for what I feel I SHOULD be doing. I may open a meditation app and have way too many options. Yes, I do need to sleep better but controlling my anxiety sounds nice, or do I want to listen to a meditation on positive affirmations? Ahhh too many choices and I need them all! Then it is like I get decision fatigue and then I am like, "Meh" never mind, and go back to scrolling on my phone.

So how do I make self-care feel less like a chore? Is there something wrong with me that even putting on a face mask at the end of the day feels like "too much?" Don't make it so complicated for yourself. I think this idea is wonderful. We all need more care for ourselves. But this term gets used so much that I begin to feel guilty about not doing the right self-care or not doing it long enough and then I get self-care anxiety. There we go, it's no longer about taking care of yourself in that moment. It's now an anxiety-ridden task. Sounds ridiculous, but how can you get anxious about doing something nice for yourself?

Maybe the takeaway here is that what I need at that moment is not meditation, going on a walk, or journaling, that all feels like work right now. In the morning, or a different time of day that may sound amazing. I need to find what feels awesome to me right now. I know I will fall asleep as soon as the meditation speaker says, "Welcome" in that nice calm, slow voice. Maybe scrolling on my phone is self-care? Maybe putting on my weighted eye mask( um the best by the way! ) and turning on my fan before I go to bed IS self-care? Maybe that Magnesium supplement or that soft blanket I curl up in is healing? Yep. I believe all of these things are taking care of myself. So the next time you may get overwhelmed with what to do for yourself, think about the little things throughout the day that you look forward to. BAM there ya go! self-care and count it!

We are an overstimulated society. Our nervous systems are shot. We have gotten away from listening to ourselves and intuitively deciding what feels good to us at that moment. Don't ever force yourself into a self-care routine you don't love or appreciate. It defeats the purpose. Step away from the lists or the how-to's and just listen. You know better than anyone else to do what you need to feel good. You own your care without judgment, without feeling like you haven't done enough. Chances are you have done a shit ton of work during the day and you just need that soft blanket or eye mask to feel better. Tomorrow is a new day and you get to choose what feels right for you.


Dr. Ariel Blackburn

Chiropractor, momma, business owner



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