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by Jamie Milne

It’s never the load that breaks us down, it’s the way we carry it.

I learned that the very hard way, training for the S.A.S Selection course as a Navy man trying to be an Elite army solider, which has been a powerful metaphor for my personal relationship with self-care.

See self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of our debts, enforcing a morning routine, cooking healthy meals, and or no longer running from problems rather facing them and finding solutions.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore, or getting a second job so you can have a savings account, or figuring out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time, to everyone.

It’s taking deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like stretching, walking, meditation, turning the phone off for the day.

As I said before, it’s not the load in life that breaks us down, but how we carry it - because a world where self-care becomes a trendy topic is a world that is a bit messed up.

Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless choices and lives.

True self-care is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

For me, it takes doing the thing I least want to do.

I have found I no longer use my hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of alcohol and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. 

It is becoming the person you know you want to be, who you yearn to be

Someone who knows that pausing and breathing, stillness, chocolate cake, pizza every now and then with friends and family, are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.



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