Written by Nicole Hind for Unveiled Stories. Originally published on June 2nd, 2016.
I’ve been working in human services for about 15 years now, so the term ‘self-care’ is as familiar to me as vegemite and cheese sandwiches. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked in workplaces how I ‘take care of myself’ or how many handouts we give out to help people remember to ‘take care of yourselves’. You all know what I am talking about: take a hot bath; write in your journal; do deep breathing meditation; go for a walk etc. etc. etc…
These things are all SUPER important, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded once in a while to stop ‘doing stuff’ and just relax or exercise or heap love on yourself or just to get up and take a shower on those really bad days.
But the reality is there is no such thing as one size fits all. And some of the things that are considered ‘not taking care of yourself’ are in actual fact the exact right things for YOU.
So here’s an alternative ‘self-care’ list (and you won’t find ‘taking a hot bath’ anywhere).
Have wonderful consensual fulfilling sex with someone who loves and respects you and your body, and who
you love and respect. This person may not be someone you are in a committed relationship with, but they should be someone who absolutely adores you, who cares for you and your needs, can look you in the eye with love, and makes you feel good about yourself without any kind of empty hole or self-questioning. Have a damn good time.
Using whatever help you need with your body type and whatever material turns you on (so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else!) There are websites these days portraying sex that celebrates genuine diversity and is not misogynistic or violent featuring a variety of human-looking consenting adults, such as make love not porn where you know the people are real and enjoying themselves. Masturbation is an excellent form of anxiety-relief as well as helping you feel more in control of your own body and giving you a good idea of what turns you on. Make it an event even if you feel nervous.
Go read the rest of the suggestions for more creative ways to take care of yourself over at Unveiled Stories!