I’m gonna be real y’all, self-care is important. Prior to my YAV year, I had a few different methods of #selfcare and most of them involved #treatyoself.
In college and after, I got into a habit of going to Target and buying either a new pair of shoes, or a new bag, or even going to Sephora and spending too much money on items that I was convinced I needed (irrelevant of the fact that I may or may not ever use them). Not that consumerism is bad, and I fully support #treatyoself on the rare occassion, but my “treats” started to become so regular that they were almost an expected thing. *Note this was a time when I was making enough money that a biweekly “treat” was not financially reprehensible*
Now comes the time for my great revelation: When you’re #ballinonabudget (or living simply) biweekly trips to Target, for shoes and bags, and Sephora, for whatever new product is out, are not exactly economical. Which means, I’ve had to find other ways to clear my head and get the same rush of adrenaline that finding the perfect pair of wedges always had. Frankly, depending on the day (and the stressor that I am trying to cope with) I’ve acquired a few different skill sets to help me decompress. Some days, it is cooking a meal that I love (a la making jambalaya for my housemates). Some days it is finding fancy words on my Pinterest, and then hand-lettering them. Most days, my adult coloring book does wonders for my blood pressure. But more often than not, I find solace in an incredibly snarky guided meditation *Language Warning*
I think it’s fascinating that guided meditations and visualization meditations have become my go-to self-care activity. I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think some guided meditations were just a little too crunchy granola for me. I’m a person of action, and so taking 5 or 10 or even 30 minutes to sit in the quiet and deal with whatever is going on in my head is counterintuitive.
- Money can’t buy peace of mind. If I get nothing else out of this year, my YAV year has made me hyper-aware of my spending habits.(Although I have always been aware of my spending habits, I just earned enough money monthly to be a little more materialistic with my spending habits)
- Give new forms of self-care a chance. If I had just stuck to traditional journaling then I would have missed out on the deeper inner peace that meditation offers me.
- Mix up self-care techniques. When the world feels like it is crashing around me, completing a page in a coloring book is a way to ground myself in things I do have control over. When I have too many thoughts running around my mind, traditional journaling helps sort out the substance from the mania. And when all I want to do is scream and/or punch something/someone, a guided meditation calms me and offers a chance to regain control over my emotions so I don’t say or do something I may later regret.