Some Items You Can Probably Go Without (Thoughts on Self Care)
Despite the fact that we should be consuming less to more effectively fight the climate crisis, it feels to me as though we’re increasingly being marketed new tools and products geared towards “self care.” As I’ve shared on this blog, I admittedly splurge on a very small, selective batch of items that fall into this category— particularly when it pertains to my simplified skincare routine. But recently it’s given me great peace to go without the latest items that are touted as self care essentials. It’s saved our family money that we need to ease the stress of high monthly bills, it’s enhanced the simplicity of my daily routines, and it’s allowed me to hone in on what it is that actually generates a calm and unique sort of joy within me.
My fancy self-care go-to is floating around our neighborhood in an old wooden hand-me-down canoe with my senior dog, StanLee.
I acknowledge that this activity is, of course, a great privilege. From the canals themselves to the SoCal weather, to being the recipients of the generous gift of a unique old canoe, to the spare minutes once or twice per week, we are so lucky to have access to this activity.
But it’s not strictly the act of being in the canoe here in this pocket of L.A. that makes this form of free self care so valuable to me. It’s being outside in a soothing environment with my dog—momentarily absent from work and chores— that makes it so wonderful.
Back when I was in my late 20s and early 30s, StanLee and I used to jog for miles near our apartment. He’d play with palm fronds as we loped along, and I’d listen to playlists on whatever device was around at that time. That was every bit as effective for calming my nerves and reminding me just how incredibly lucky I am to be living my life.
When it comes to self care, there is an ever-growing list of “some items you can probably go without.” Everyone’s is different.
For me, I can do without the aromatherapy mist, eye pillows and specialty bath products, among dozens of other things. Just give me a half an hour outside and free of distractions alongside my best friend, and I feel healthier, happier and more available to others.