The term “self-care” gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s not only become a trend all over social media, but a buzzword that has had a huge impact on the so called wellness industry. To many it conjures up ideas of spa days, wine in the bathtub or anything else of the “treat yo self” variety.
Over the last month at Circla we have been reflecting on what the term means. Whilst we are huge advocates for putting a face mask on and giving your skin some TLC, true, genuine self care is so much more than that.
When we strip the concept back, the term is really about anything that we deliberately do (or refrain from doing) to take care of ourselves. Giving ourselves the same compassion, care and grace that we give to others. Understanding and recognising the relationship we have with ourselves and prioritising it. Or as self-care columnist Hope Rangaswam puts it:
“When we realise that self-care is more than pampering ourselves we confront a difficult truth: self-care requires work that looks a little different for everyone. Self-care might mean admitting that you can’t heal alone and allowing yourself to accept help. It might mean setting boundaries, and learning that it’s okay to say no to requests you aren’t comfortable with, or it might mean saying yes to new experiences and expanding your comfort zone. It might mean replacing toxic habits with healthier coping mechanisms, like meditation or exercise, or it might mean letting yourself eat an entire tub of ice cream without feeling bad about it. It might mean choosing eight hours of sleep over watching another episode on Netflix, or it might mean watching another episode on Netflix over getting eight hours of sleep. All, some or none of these things might work for you — what matters is focusing on what feels right for your needs”.
This month, we believe the ultimate champion of this movement has been Simone Biles after she decided to withdraw from the team finals in the Olympics. Unapologetically and without hesitation, she put her physical and mental wellbeing first. She was honoring herself over any expectations that others may have of her. It might have been the single most empowering thing I have seen. It reminded me that “success” goes beyond career achievements but actually is waking up to oneself and honouring our needs.
Her actions had a profound effect on me. Whilst I may religiously give my skin the self-care it needs, mentally I was not giving myself the same compassion. I may not be jumping and twisting my body in the air but the words ‘no’, ‘enough’ and ‘I need some help’ very rarely come out of my mouth. So this month, I cancelled meetings, pushed back on projects and let my brain recharge for once. I got myself back out running, stopped reading and responding to emails at 9pm and instead unapologetically tuned into Love Island.
It’s also made me stop and think about the type of culture I want to build at Circla. Most of us will spend a third of our lives at work and working in a start-up has many believing that we need to portray an image of strength by constantly progressing and hustling. We believe we carry some form of badge of honour in never taking a holiday, working weekends and being in a constant state of stress. We have been told that our worth increases the more we achieve. But really, our worth never changes and true self-care helps us prove that to ourselves. As I reflect on Simone and her brave act of defiance, I want to make sure that Circla is a place where rest and refuel is encouraged, whether that means saying “I’ve had enough right now, I need a break” or taking an hour out of our day to get a much needed pedicure.
Let me know what you think.