Self care: so much more than a sheet mask

2018 thus far has been one heck of a roller coaster to say the least. Between work, life planning and everything in between, I've had quite a few moments where I felt like everything was not falling into place like it should. Thus far, there were some really amazing highs, but also some very devastating lows. Overall I've not been liking 2018 very much, even though it is supposed to be my "year of transformation".

By mid April, I'd been having major sleeping issues (I am admittedly an insomniac, but this went beyond my usual realm of lacking sleep), and having quite a few anxiety attacks, excessive headaches, along with a few bits of blurred vision and extreme fatigue. My body just wasn't having it anymore. And the anxiety about everything was just making it worse. Have you ever been anxious about feeling anxious all the time? Or tired of being anxious because your anxiety had you constantly knackered? Yeah, that was me, rather, that still is me but I have been working on it as best as I can. 

What's the "it" that I've been working on? Well, it is a combination of several things. Mainly, the need "adult", coupled with really trying to plan my life out as I prepare for something life changing, while keeping on top of my full time job, and push out consistent content here on my blog and on my Youtube channel. I am scared out of my mind right now about what 2018 will do with my life. It is that anticipation.. that has me giddy with excitement, but also nauseous with anxiety. I had even considered looking into CBD at the time, and in doing so, I found myself reading some really informative articles about it on CFAH. They're a really good resource to tap into if you have any questions about using CBD products.  

But I digress. In the midst of trying to juggle everything, I suddenly started self loathing. Now we all know that I am nowhere the slimmest girl in the bunch, and I have always been okay with that. But for some reason at that point, I found myself hating my size.. wishing for longer hair, the whole lot. Eventually all of this just caused to not want to do anything, not even get out of bed. My work lapsed, my life lapsed. My spiritually? I'll have to do a whole other blog post for that one, but it definitely did waver a lot in that short span of time. I was in a rut, and had gotten so used to that feeling that I didn't want to even try to come out of it. 

I have had stressful moments in my life before. But 2018 is doing a serious number on me:
physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Now what does all this have to do with self care? Bear with me loves I'm getting there. I started seeing the trend of self care, more specifically self care Sunday showing up on my Instagram feed and in the IG stories of quite a few people that I follow. The main notion of it was taking the time to "treat yo self", primarily by doing some sort of body treatment, be it a mask, a pedicure, and then some. So I jumped on the band wagon, got me a bunch of masks and other goodies to try.

The initial result was along of the lines of "oh look at me, #selfcaresunday #treatyoself" (my goodness, in hindsight, those hashtags are hilarious lol), and the hype of doing my self pampering worked for a while, but eventually, I found myself no longer excited to do a mask or hair treatment, and I knew why. I was feeding the outside, but not the inside. Treating my physical, but not my spiritual. I was doing all these things to make me pretty on the outside, but my soul was suffering. And I needed to do something about it fast. 

So what did I do? I took a step back and really dove into my memories, painting a picture and creating a list of things that made my soul happy. Here's what I came up so far:

- Prayer/Church/Diving into the Word: As a Catholic, the Bible is a key component to my daily living. Admittedly, I'd not been tapping into that source much, and I am taking the time to do so more. I made sure to keep my bible visible on my night stand, on my desk at the office, and I have a Bible app on my phone. Daily prayer and reading the Word gives me hope. It reminds me of God's unconditional love for me. Going to church (which I have lapsed on horridly) reminds me that I am connected to a larger faith based community.

- Tuning into nature: I love nature!! The beach, a river, going for a walk, or a drive, de bush lol!!! I am truly energised by being immersed in nature, to the point where.... wait for it... I put down my cell phone.. *collective gasp* 

- Spending time with loved ones. Contrary to popular belief, I am a hermit. Ask my mom, I'm always in my room, whether we have guests over or not. My hermit ways had gotten so bad at one point that my own family would not know if I were home or not. So now I make the effort to try and spend more time with my parents, siblings and my nieces and nephews. It is still a work in progress, but I'm trying. 

- Getting rid of toxic people in my life. It was only when I really started working on myself again, did I realise that I had a few toxic persons in my life. Some were easy to get rid of, others, well that is a work in progress (a story for another blog post), but in this instance, i am doing my best to keep the energy in my immediate circle positive. 

There are a few more, but I can say that these were the core things that have helped me begin my "getting out the rut" process. Now I'm not telling you to go do these exact things (well, except the prayer/church part, go to your place of worship, read your holy text, issa must), but, I am simply sharing this as inspiration. Different things feed our souls, so discover yours, and start your journey to self care. 

Nature re-energizes me. Mangel Halto beach, Aruba. June 2016. You can read about that trip here
In all of this, I have learned if anything, this one thing: Self care is so much more than a sheet mask. It is admitting you're not perfect, that you're not having a good experience in life right now, that things are not okay, that you're in a rut; and then doing all that you can to find a way and overcome. By no means is overcoming easy, and it definitely isn't something that happens overnight. But when you are in a place in your life where you are able to smile, you will understand that everything you went through to get there was worth it. 

So when last have you truly self cared? When last have you nurtured your soul?

Tshenelle aka Nelly B.