BY MARIAH COWSERT
I sit in the bathtub, coated by the comfort of the steaming waters while I sing and let myself be free from my to‐do lists, e‐mail drafts, and mental check lists. Self‐care is a routine act that changes with each person as often and as swiftly as the seasons.
You are your own home — treat yourself like it.
I started making time to take care of myself after last fall. I found myself diving deeper into my studies, relationships and heartache, work, writing, and family troubles and realized I couldn’t swim. My depression and anxiety was making it increasingly difficult to get through each day as I attempted to drag my feet out of my room like anchors settling unable to free themselves from their port. I let my roots grow further into the ground beneath my sheets and grew physically ill from my clouded headspace.
I visited a therapist and mapped out what I needed to do for myself. “You are your own home — treat yourself like it,” she told me as I clutched my arms tight to my body in order to take up less space and fade into the background. I took a full day off for the first time that year and spent it with myself. I went to breakfast and read, walked around my favorite spots in the city, I ran until my lungs stirred angrily like a swarm rumbling in a bees nest, and I wrote until I let everything out of my head in order to drain my anxieties.
Did it take a long time to feel comfortable in myself? Yes, it fucking did, but I put my foot down and fought for myself. I make the conscious decision to fight for myself daily. I schedule self‐care into my weekly planner, whether that be getting coffee alone, writing, running, or letting myself cry it out like a warm summer rain.
Self‐care is fundamental to being human, but we lose touch with ourselves as we pour out our efforts to others.
Self‐care is fundamental to being human, but we lose touch with ourselves as we pour out our efforts to others. Be kind to others, build each other up with support, but never lose sight of yourself in the process. Do not drain yourself for someone, you do not have to say yes to projects if you don’t have time, and you sure as hell do not have to go against yourself to be with someone.
It’s easier said than done. You are continuously growing and embracing who you are, you will never “be ready for someone once you work on yourself”. There will never be a perfect time to start something like self‐care, relationships, a new health routine, or a form of exercise. You have to dig deep into yourself and find out what you need from self‐care and what your routine looks like. Take it in as much or as little as you’d like but allow yourself to be alone and to notice when you are happy. Do not brush away happiness with the vision of it ending immediately. Soak in it, save it for a rainy day, and take care of your damn self. You are worth it. You are always worth it.