Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Self-Care Secret Every 20-Something Needs To Know

It seems that penning a 'self confidence' or 'self love' article has become a right of passage for any millennial writer, blogger, and/or selfie taker. Or perhaps, this sense of self acceptance is merely what everyone goes through in their early 20's. Those years of limbo - fresh faced and bleary eyed as we emerge from the last remnants of childhood comfort still afforded to us during the college years. Suddenly forced to figure out what we are doing, where we are going, who we are going with, how we want to get there - all whilst also juggling the insanity of 'everyday' things such as paying rent and making sure to not eat pasta 5 days in a row.
It honestly only seems natural that in a time of such disruption, uncertainty, and newness we would retreat within, to reflect upon the only constant in our lives - ourselves.

But, in a world now saturated by Instagram and the ability to make our lives and journeys seem more perfect than the truth, I was too easily convinced that everyone else was happily prancing down a road of self-discovery whilst I struggled to even crawl. Thus, my first attempts at all things self-care, self-love were tinged with doubt, insecurity, and a ridiculous desire to make impossible changes to both my inner and outer self. This, however, is something that I now know is not singular to me. So many of my peers were in very similarly negative spaces - they are simply better at slapping a smile on their faces.

Suddenly I was filled to the brim with notions about parts of my core personality that I needed to cut and change to become a better person. Worry less (ironic, I know), be more charitable, use kinder words, be slower to anger, be quieter with my opinions, think of others more (again, ironic). I became so obsessed with becoming a nicer person, that I was constantly in a state of stress. I didn't realise that by constantly berating myself for not being better, I was further causing the opposite to be true. I was, myself, creating a negative energy from nothing, one that swam around me for far too long.

Scrolling through whatever social media app my finger had aimlessly clicked on was the root of my problem. An issue that is very close to becoming a cliché for my generation, yet clichés are clichés for a reason. I couldn't help but compare my achievements, looks, ambitions, traits to this girl or that woman. I was comparing their pristinely chosen and curated best to my everyday, less than fabulous,  normal. 

Even still, I blindly followed every 'rule' laid out in multiple self-care articles. I had my face mask on, was sitting in a ridiculously coloured bubble bath, cup of tea *glass of wine* in hand, surrounded by every scented candle I owned. 
So why wasn't I feeling like a goddess? 
Where was the magical self-assurance and bliss that I had been promised by the latest beauty/lifestyle guru on Instagram? 
It wasn't until I took a step back, and saw beyond the screen of my phone that I was finally able to take the necessary steps that are so often concealed by aesthetic nonsense on social media. I spent time alone, went for walks with good friends, and truly listened to words of affirmation from loved ones. I was present and was able to force myself to be mindful of who I am and where I come from. 

My nose was ugly and too big
Until I realised it had been passed down to me from my granny's face
My hair was an unruly mess of curls
Until I saw my wild locks mirrored those on the head of every woman in my mother's family
My body was unwomanly, lacking in any of the right curves
Until I saw it in an old picture of my grandmother, a feminine idol throughout my childhood.

My pale skin and dark hair are not mismatched
They are gifts from my ancestors, links to the intricate heritage stitched into my DNA.
We are carefully created constellations of those that came before us.
No part of us is an accident or mistake.

So, get that manicure and buy the over-priced bath bomb if you want to. Go ahead and post all about it on Instagram or Snapchat  if you wish. Just remember why you are doing it, spend time with yourself and get to know who you are without any of the comparisons shouting at you through the screen of your phone.
Self-care is whatever leads you to self-love, there is not step by step process, no matter what the hash-tags or YouTube tutorials tell you. Trust me. 

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10 comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post, really resonated with me

    LJ x
    www.l-jeliz.com

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it! ✨

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  2. Such a lovely post to read through. The more time I spend on social media, the more I hate the way I look, but like you said, every feature we have is passed down from someone we love!

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! Really glad you enjoyed the read ✨

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  3. this is a lovely
    https://www.melodyjacob.com/

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  4. I feel like your twenties can be hard. It doesn't help when you look at others peoples instagram and their life seems so perfect
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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    Replies
    1. Couldn't agree more! Thanks for reading ✨

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