Updated: Aug 13
Self-care should not be an emergency, rather practiced every day. Self Care Cada Día should be the motto. I am definitely one at fault to start practicing it self-care when I'm starting to burn out. But that's the problem, it's already a little too late. I used to hold back on wanting to 'treat myself' to an ice coffee, a yummy pastry, a milkshake, or even a random thing from Target, but now; I don't as much. It can feel like a waste of money since some days it does for me. I recently began trying to pick one day out of the week when: I can order lunch in, get an iced coffee as I reach my destination and walk back to my apartment, or walk through the 'mini' Target either window shopping or buying something small. I am already broke, but like my madre told my sister once, and now she tells me all the time, 'cómprate algo delicioso'. But the original thing that my mom loosely said was, 'you are working, and deserve/can afford to buy yourself a coffee, so go for it'. I will note, that this self-denial of 'treating yourself ’ is a result of Latino household dynamics, socio-economic status, 1st generation issues, and more, but will tackle those at a later time. There is so much guilt in these small things. I know that when I got a job that paid me more than I had ever made before, I faced this every time I'd walk to Starbucks and get a drink with my co-workers. Needing to pay my rent monthly, while trying to save and invest, has made it so that it overshadowed my need to take care of myself. As a result, I clearly had a few breakdowns, the kind of sobbing non-stop kind and eventually the one that led me to consider taking medication. Medication doesn't get rid of whatever mental health issue you have but helps to help you cope. I still get overwhelming anxiety to fill moments/hours. I still overthink and tire myself out. I still have to limit my caffeine intake depending on the day. And I still try to overdo things with a perfectionist mindset, but now it's a less severe need to have to do them, or else my anxiety will be triggered. I now try to practice self-care daily and am more mindful. Even if I get three ice coffees a week, get that milkshake one of those evenings, order lunch; I appreciate being able to do that and make it as a form of self-care. If I didn't do those things on top of exercising, trying to eat well, and sleeping enough, I still will have anxiety. The point is, try to take care of yourself at least once a day or once a week. Do this to avoid burnout or any kind of meltdown that impacts you. Activate that serotonin with a walk or vitamin D or whatever floats your boat.