Our way of seeking self-care can be ironic sometimes. We thought if we could just get a few hours to ourselves after a week of tiring work, we’d be ready to bounce back. But sometimes, it does not work that way, and we end up getting more stressed.
Most of our relaxation routines take up time, and that’s one resource that we could not afford to waste. For this article on self-care, we are not recommending routines or new activities you could explore. Rather, there are some common mistakes that you could learn from.
Salon therapy: a beauty makeover gone wrong
Some men also go to salons to be pampered, of course, but this scenario is probably more common to women. Got a problem? Get your hair fixed. Get your nails painted. Get a makeover. Even if you have a head full of problems, at least you will be facing them beautifully. Or that’s how the reasoning goes.
The thing is if you don’t have a regular hairdresser or stylist, experimenting with how you look does not automatically relax you. You see a pixie cut trend and might think that it’s the best time to try it on your hair that you’ve painstakingly taken care of and grown for over a year already. So on a whim, you are chopping it off as a symbol of cutting off the burden that’s been weighing you down.
So you go to the salon for your do. But after most of your locks fall to the floor, you see that what’s left is a big round face staring back at you. You then remember why you wanted more hair. Now you’re not just thinking about your problem. You also get to worry about how to hide your expansive cheeks.
Yes, getting pampered and looking pretty is a great plan to feel good about yourself. But instead of making leaps in changing your looks, you can do them gradually. For example, if you are not yet sure of a hair cut, experiment with wigs, luxury clip-in bangs, and temporary curlers.
Retail therapy: shopping overboard
Shopping as self-care is rarely a good idea, especially if what had been stressing you were financial matters. You’d get temporary relief, sure. But you know how you’d feel when you get the bills later and realize you didn’t need what you binged on.
If you really must buy something, think of what you’ve been putting off because you had been busy. You might need to get a pair of new gloves for the garden or a light fixture changed. Yes, the items are boring, and that’s probably why they’re on a task list, not appropriate for your relaxing time. But you don’t only have to go to boring stores when shopping for them. For example, instead of going to your usual warehouse-looking depot to get your gloves, why not check out garden specialty stores that are often quaintly decorated and overflowing with plants. You might even get inspiration for your garden.
Vacation trip: expectations too high
This predicament is very common. You looked forward to your vacation, suffering the last week of grueling office work.
The day of the vacation arrives, and you can already feel the sand on your toes. You get off the plane only to face the first setback on your trip—your luggage didn’t arrive with you. That’s enough nightmare to destroy your entire vacation. The easy way to avoid this scenario is by merely bringing a carry-on bag, so you are sure you have everything you need with you.
If you can’t avoid checking in luggage like when you’re going on a long trip, get travel insurance that would provide emergency funds for lost luggage. That way, you can go shopping while your luggage hasn’t arrived. But make sure you have extra clothes and your basic needs with you in your carry-on.
Let’s go beyond that problem. Let’s say you’re a regular light traveler. You arrive at your beachfront hotel— only to find that instead of having the ocean right at your doorstep, you have to walk two blocks to the beach past some rows of decrepit houses.
What happened? You looked at the hotel’s gallery, and everything looked like a paradise. Of course, that’s marketing. The best way to avoid situations like this is to check reviews of the hotel when you book. Look at photos uploaded by those who had previously stayed there and not the official ones from the hotel.
These are just a few learning points to get you by. Self-care is necessary for us to get through our everyday hustles. Make sure that whatever you engage in to unwind would relax you and wouldn’t add to your anxieties.