In 2019 We Are Redefining Self-Care Because Life Is Not Toxic, Your Attitude Is

In 2019 We Are Redefining Self-Care Because Life Is Not Toxic, Your Attitude Is

Nothing is more important than taking care of your mental health. Period. But think twice before cutting someone out of your life and deeming them "toxic"

75
views


"When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose."
-Amy Leigh Mercree

With the new year inspiring all part of our lives, it's important to address this idea of 'self-care' that is so widely preached. Self-care, simply defined, is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. However, these lines have seemed to be blurred to a significant extent lately.

Our society has taken a few steps back in the treatment of our fellow peers lately. Whether it's the force of authoritarian violence, neo-nazi rallies, objectification of women, or denial of human rights to various non-dominant groups-- there is no denying that America has some strides to make. But how?

How, in such an individualistic society, do we learn that depending on people is a vulnerable strength rather than a weakness? In a country that places emphasis on being self-made, we are trained to believe that any form of codependency makes one weaker. So, we practice "self-care". We cut off those confrontational friends that try to change our life plans. We toss the relationships that don't support us in every decision we make. We quit jobs that make us unhappy after three weeks. We label everything as "toxic" when in reality it's just something that has denied us of that American instant gratification we crave so innately.

Relationships, whether friendships, intimate connections, or professional careers are not a singular commitment. So many apathetic actions are cloaked under this blanket of "self-care". There is a limit between watching out for your mental health and using it as an underlying excuse to hurt those around you. Just because you are troubled for a short period doesn't always mean that the person is "toxic" to you. Sometimes, it serves as an indicator that this relationship is worth working through and working for.

Now, I am a huge proponent for taking care of yourself in daily activities! Through a life of mindfulness and meditation, memories with good friends, and hobbies that fulfill you, it is still important to check in with yourself and see what attitudes need to be managed. But instead of making rash decisions and dropping everyone around you in your life, take these feelings inwards and work on yourself. If you feel a relationship not working, ask yourself whether its a conflict of interest or ideology, maybe even a miscommunication--instead of breaking things off and insisting you're an "independent woman" who was "being held back". There is pride in working through issues, but only if you allow yourself to be codependent.

This is by far my greatest struggle in life. The second things go wrong in a relationship, I just convince myself that I am independent--I was on my own before and I can sure as hell do it again! I convince myself that the other person just wasn't "the one" or that "if my friendships are meant to be, they'll just...be?" I'm here to tell you that I understand what it's like being an independent person trying to let people in. But please, just don't use your inability to transparently work through issues as "self-care."

Popular Right Now

To The Soon-To-Be College Freshman Who Think They'll Keep Their High School Friends, Know This

You will maybe talk to 10 people back from your high school while your in college.

1539
views

I know what you are thinking "Of course I am going to still talk to all my high school friends once we graduate." "You just didn't keep up with your friends." "I am going to talk to them every day."

Of course, you may be the lucky ones that go on to the same college and university, but if you follow your best friend to college then have you ever thought to yourself. "Did I choose my school based on if my friend(s) would go to college together." Obviously, it could be coincidental that you end up in the same place, but my argument is more on the idea of having friends that go to the same college on your list of important things once you move away.

Now if you are still reading and still in denial with what I am saying then continue.

Since moving away from home I have broadened my horizons and met more people then I could ever have imagined. I have met people that if I have not kept an open mind to them I would not be friends with them now. You will most likely choose the same type of friends that you had in high school if you do not keep an open mind when finding friends in college.

You also do not want to be that person who refuses to make other friends besides their high school friends. I hate to break it to you, but your high school friends will find other friends beside you when they leave for college/university. This time in your life is supposed to be "a new chapter" if you do not branch out of your comfort zone then you will be stuck in a little bubble for the rest of your life.

Not only will your friends in your high school class be making friends, but you need to make friends that are in the same stage of life that you are also in. Still talking to high school aged friends will limit you from conversations due to distance, lack of relevance, and just not going through the same stuff as you.

Sounds daunting? I know.

I am not saying that you can not be friends still with your high school friends. From time to time I catch up with mine to see how the school is going for them, and how they are doing, but I am building and forming relationships with my friends at college because you have had to start up from ground zero, and will be forming a foundation until we graduate.

Even when you have broken it is nice to hang out with your high school friends and talk about the good old days. My point to you is to keep an open mind and to not get upset when high school friends have moved on and found their new friends from school just like you.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My Body Is Not Your Conversation Topic

I'm not up for public consumption.

132
views

I'm skinny. There is seemingly nothing wrong with that. I'm a bit underweight but I am healthy. My body does everything I need it to do and I take care of it well. There is a privilege in being skinny; I can shop for clothes my size relatively easily, my body type is represented in the media constantly, etc.

There's nothing wrong with having a healthily thin body type — women are beautiful at every size. The only problem with being skinny is that I don't want to be. I have struggled with my weight and body image for a long time and it is my own problem to deal with, but some days people around me make it worse.

Being skinny makes me feel small, insignificant, like a child. People say the weirdest things about my body and act like it's a compliment. In high school, I wore a pencil skirt to school and was with my friends in the office. An administrator came up to talk to us and commented on how skinny my legs were, then proceeded to gesture to her own leg and ask me if she could give some of her "fat" because I "needed it." It's funnier now but at the time, I was so uncomfortable and too shy to do anything but give her a courtesy laugh.

I didn't wear skirts for a while after that. Those kinds of comments make me feel seen in the wrong way; it makes me want to disappear. There have even been people who are bold enough to invade my personal space and touch me, then tell me — in amazement — that I'm "really skin and bones." It's weird and awkward and truly doesn't add anything to a conversation. It's actually the easiest way to get me to end a conversation, as well as a relationship, with you.

In a day and age where we share almost everything online, it's become the norm to discuss and analyze people's bodies. They're the ones putting it out there so we should be able to nitpick them to death, right? Wrong. Commenting on someone's body, size, health, etc. is never okay and should not be considered commonplace. I know I'm skinny so I definitely don't need anyone to remind me. The sky is blue but we don't point it out every day, do we?

Leave people's bodies alone. You truly never know what somebody may be dealing with in terms of their body image. And no, you're not entitled to know. I don't tell everybody who makes a comment about my body that I've struggled with my body image since I was 13 because they simply don't deserve to know. Don't put people in a position where they have to defend their own body.

I'm taking my power back lately and not giving anyone a courtesy laugh when they make a joke or comment about my body. Instead, I'm just telling them to shut up, and I encourage you to do the same.

Related Content

Facebook Comments