The other day, I don’t know why, I abnormally went out of my way to do indulge in some self-care. ‘Indulge’ isn’t the right word to use when it comes to self-care though. It suggests that it’s a sort of commodity or treat. Like chocolate for instance.
Anyway my point being that it’s something that I don’t purposely try to do. But I was just in one of those moods where I decided to look after myself for a day.
I did very basic and simple things that I otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to in my daily routine and just enjoyed them for what they were.
I started with some exercise.
For the last 2/3 months I’ve lived my life at my kitchen table and that is due simply to the joys of school. In particular exams.
My existence over this period basically boiled down to this:
Go to school.
Endure that for a number of hours.
Sit down at a table absolutely littered with school books.
Eat a microwaved dinner that was prepared at least a day or two ago.
Pop in a DVD on my mac. Most often The Social Network and if not that then Brad Pitt’s Moneyball.
Do schoolwork for an hour or two.
Study for the rest of the evening.
Even my friend noticed and took the liberty of pointing out to me the fact that “you literally live at that table, don’t you.”
Not going to lie this gif is an accurate depiction of my response.
Looking back I feel really bad about it. It was a really unhealthy thing to do. But oh-well. Hopefully I can do things a little differently the next time around.
You know the way when you don’t exercise for a while it’s really hard to start again and everything you do the first session back is just utter agony? Well let me tell you. It felt soooo good to squat after so long. You ever go to the pool and sink down into the jacuzzi? Or into a nice and warm candle lit bath? That’s the feeling I’m talking about. When you breathe out the sigh of complete relaxation. Yeah I thought it strange too if that’s what your thinking. Who does a squat and actually enjoys it? Apparently this guy.
After I got finished with my exercise, I decided to go outside and kick a ball around my backyard. That was fun. I hadn’t done that either. I hadn’t done anything remotely playful at all for a lengthy amount of time.
Then I went inside and had a nice, steamy shower. Which I thoroughly enjoyed for a full twenty minutes! When you live in rural Ireland, where shower time is immersion time, that’s a big deal.
I stepped out to some Calvin Harris that was playing on my phone, which was placed on the toilet seat beside the shower with my Spotify playlist on shuffle.
“I been thinking way too much and I’m way too gone to drive” I sing along.
Damn, Khalid just makes this song.
So I go across to my room and I put on some clothes.
Maybe I’m the only male on planet earth who will admit this in a blog post, but putting on fresh boxers, warm from sitting on the radiator, after a shower is such an unbelievable feeling.
Then once I’m dressed I do something that I haven’t in a while.
I pull out my phone, open the Calm app and sit and meditate for 10 minutes.
The meditation? Funnily enough it was about happiness and how gratitude contributes massively towards it as a whole.
Something that I hadn’t considered in a long time. I get thinking and slip into a mindset of gratefulness for the rest of the day.
Walking down the stairs I become grateful for the fact that I can actually walk down the stairs myself.
I become grateful for the fact that I have stairs to walk down. A roof over my head. A house to live in. A bed to rest in at night.
This continues when I walk into the kitchen. I relish in the fact that I have a kitchen. A staple supply of food.
Then I write a blog post. This blog post actually.
I feel nice and productive. Creative. A feeling that every creator loves to feel.
Then I have a toasted ham and cheese sandwich which tastes absolutely incredible.
I chill and watch Donald Glover’s comedy special, ‘Weirdo‘, on YouTube. Man does it feel good to laugh. Some of his jokes are actually really funny and I enjoy the show immensely.
Then I go upstairs, brush my teeth, apply my moisturizer and facial creams and get into bed.
I read for a while. Some fiction, which I rarely indulge in nowadays. Twilight: New Moon actually. The books pretty tattered from wear and tear over the years. I’ve read the series so many times I can feel myself finishing pieces of passages in the book.
I do this with the hum of my little radio alarm clock softly whirring in the background.
Finally, I set my book down. Curl into a ball, with a smile at the corner of my mouth and drift off into a peaceful yet deep sleep.
Upon reflection the ending there sounds like something out of a fictional novel. Wow.
Was it really that cliché?
What I notice now, is that everything just felt so right and so good when I approached it with a self-caring attitude. To tell the truth I just felt incredible the whole day. That’s why I wanted to write about the experience.
What if every day of my life could be like it was on that day?
Wouldn’t it be amazing?
It’s mind-blowing to think that all this took was a little get-up-and-go to put the wheels in motion.
Because of this experience I’ve really decided to be more conscious of my mental health and overall physical health. Life’s too short to be spent in an unhealthy manner.
I thought, maybe if I write a little about this and talk about the wonder of self-care other people might think about it a bit.
It’s something that a lot of people don’t know to partake in every once in a while.
By opening up about it I thought maybe I could spark somewhat of a conversation about mental health and self-care.
If so I would love to hear about how other people manage their self-care.
You can email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take it from there.