Self-Care and Self-Destruction
Where do you draw the line?
Our brains are the inner workings of ourselves. In fact, we are our brains, encased by our skeletons. So what could be more important than taking care of your mental health?
Self-care rituals in everyday life are essential. But what is self-care?
Many people on the internet paint self-care as a big, expensive spectacle. However, self-care doesn’t have to be an all-out spa day. It could be making yourself a cup of tea before bed, taking a deep breath before leaving your home, or meditation in the morning.
Because of the warped idea of what self-care “should” be, it’s easy to confuse self-care with self-indulgence. While indulging isn’t necessarily bad, if you over or under-do it, it can lead to destructive behaviors. The key is to find a happy medium in whatever you do.
Finding a happy medium is sometimes difficult discerning in your life. It is harder to notice the gradual changes that something is causing in your life when you are so used to it. Something may be destructive if it is
- Propelling negative behaviors or attitudes
- Not helping to produce lasting joy or peace (the activity is a temporary “fix”)
- Those who care about you disapprove of the activity
This is definitely not the case in all destructive behaviors; however, I’ve found in my life that chasing temporary fixes that only encourage negativity in my life often is throwing off my mental health. When we self-indulge, it is easy to explain away why we are using these temporary fixes, even if they don’t “fix” anything.
Self-care doesn’t have to be monumental. In fact, it is in the carving out of small routines that bring a sense of joy and peace to your every day that really helps you to prioritize your mental health.
If you are struggling with your mental health, professionals can help. Here are some hotlines if you are in need:
1–800–273-TALK (crisis hotline for mental health)
1–800–662-HELP (4357) (from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
1–800–950-NAMI (6264) (National Alliance on Mental illness help line)
This Medium article is based on a future episode of my Podcast TraumaTastic, available on Spotify. If you are interested in diving deeper into my thoughts on the topic, feel free to go look that up!