If making your bed everyday is an act of self-care, can leaving it disheveled be one too?
Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of adjusting how we see and define self-care. Since my work has continually led me to find that most of the things we do in life serve a significant purpose, it’s becoming more and more clear that self-care extends way beyond the walls of striving for perfection.
From a functional perspective, there are essentially two ways to categorize our behavior- adaptive or maladaptive. Some of the things we do make more sense than other things. You’ve heard the phrase “going around your elbow to get to your thumb”? Well, clearly, finding a shorter route may be the more optimal solution, but at the end of the day you’re still moving toward the same destination. Maladaptive is still adaptive; just not without it’s kinks.
What’s so wrong about embracing the raw and real moments of seemingly maladaptive self-care? What’s wrong with allowing yourself, if not praising yourself, for intentionally choosing to be a little lazy?
The opposite of self-care is self-shame and the polarity is real. There’s not really much in between. We typically assess each thing we do as either moving in the right direction or moving in the wrong one. I challenge you to start to reframe your thinking to adjust to the idea that the destination is always the same. Maybe there is no “wrong” way. There are lots of different paths to chose, none without consequence be it negative or positive. Making your bed naturally leads itself to a more pleasant outcome but that doesn’t mean there’s not still power in the intentional choice to allow yourself to step outside the walls of perfection and give yourself a break every now and then.
It’s definitely a radical step to embrace our flaws and shortcomings, but if we can start to look at the world through the pure lens of self-care we can eventually stop shaming ourselves for being human. We can start to see the value in all of our efforts. When we allow ourselves to be less than perfect it stops the rigid polar bounce. We can start to feel the middle ground under our toes and ultimately prevent ourselves from giving up.
Some days it just feels right and necessary to experience a little chaos. We will get to our destination sooner if we embrace each step along the way, even those that feel backwards, as movement towards our goal.
When you choose to act with intention, every moment becomes a #selfcaremoment.