This post is by one of our dear friend Vaibhavi Suthar who is a sales professional that understands the importance of taking a step back once in a while from her ever busy lifestyle. She loves the power that aromas have over our minds and swears by the 'Sweet Soapy Dreams' bath kit for the ultimate relaxation routine after a super hectic week.
There’s been enough buzz about the words “self-care” in the past year - thanks to all the stress, uncertainty and anxiety that was brought along as the by-product of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. A blanket opinion was formed that everyone went through the ups and downs of mental health. I believe we’ve all had different experiences since everything started spiraling down but somehow we were all going through the same emotional roller-coaster. I can only talk about my journey, which started out in a state of shock that soon turned into anxiety of the unknown, there was fear and I locked myself from the world both literally and metaphorically.
The next thing you know, I sprung into action and started a race no one asked for. I went on a rigorous compulsion to outdo myself, to be productive, to utilize every single second to its maximum potential and naturally, I burned myself out fairly soon. Everyone around me fell into the same trap. Realizing this “productive” rage was only a defense mechanism to fight the anxious thoughts, was probably the best thing that happened to me and that realization helped me open up to myself and ask myself questions that seem rather simple - “How are you feeling?” “How are you REALLY feeling?” “How can I make you feel better?” Just asking these 3 questions has helped me form a better relationship with myself.
We’ve all felt that itch to reach out to someone and ask them how they’re doing but how many times do we ask ourselves that? I remember not wanting to talk to anyone for a brief period just because I couldn’t pretend to “be okay” anymore. Everyone I spoke to or interacted with on social-media was all smiles about “hey self-care is so important” “I’m working out 5 times a week and it feels so good” “yoga is so cool” “I spent 30 mins in the bathtub today and I feel amazing now” - I was that person too! And no matter how much all of these things help us in getting through a bad day or make us feel better for a while, nothing spells self-care as much as self-talk.
Communication is key in any relationship and our relationship with ourselves is the greatest of them all because we’ll never be able to fully be authentic with others unless we are fully honest about our feelings with ourselves. I’d read somewhere “you can’t fill someone else’s cup when your own cup is empty” and to me, that is profound. Sure, an aromatic bubble-bath with candles all around and soothing music can lift our spirits (check out the Relax - Set of 4 Bath Kits for ultimate relaxation) but while this might be a stepping stone to reaching the end goal which is inner peace, a little self-talk might just enable you some nitro-speed on that journey.
While we can say communication today has become a cake-walk given the convenience brought to us by the ever emerging technology, it has somehow made us lose that connection with ourselves. Most of the ‘self-care’ talk today happens on social media. Regardless of who you’re following digitally, each one of them has at least preached the idea of self-care once. It might be overwhelming to come across all these practices and feeling left-out in a sense because you think you may not be paying attention to yourself as much since you’re not going on a run every morning or can’t bake muffins on weekends. Letting someone else outline the idea of self-care for you is abusive and it’s very easy to fall prey to those feelings of ‘not being cool enough’. It’s imperative that we understand not everyone has the same mental space as you and to try to find solace in someone else’s idea of self-care is like pursuing a career in culinary arts when you don’t even like cooking!
2020 was a year of revelations and no matter how many bad things we list down that happened during the year, it brought us back to ourselves. We realized how important it was to prioritize our health. We got closer to our families more than ever - maybe not in distance but in love. We grew out of things that no longer served their purpose - from toxic friends to clothes ( because it was definitely the year of sweats) It was also the year that helped us value the little things we took for granted - eating at restaurants, going to movie theatres, reading in libraries or just working on a laptop from a café. This has revolutionized the idea of socialization. It forced us to form a relationship with ourselves and that, I believe was a blessing in disguise.
May we go into this brand new year with the strength to pursue the truth behind self-care and better yet - be able to realize that we have the ability to do so within ourselves. People today have everything readily available at one click and while it’s both a blessing and a curse, may we find the courage to speak to our minds, ask it questions, go inward than seeking for those answers on the outside - because what we’ll get there are temporary fixes, band-aids that won't cure a bone injury. We as a generation love instant everything - noodles to gratification. But it’s time we open ourselves to the idea of things taking time and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Only by doing that will we ever become capable of having healthy relationships with people, but ourselves first. May we be able to fill our own cups without peeping into others’ or only looking to see if they have enough - neither more, nor less. May we take deeper breaths and longer baths, because god knows we will need a lot of them.