I Realised I Haven't Been Really Taking Care Of My Body -- Inspite Of My Entire Beauty Routine




Recently I realised that since years I have not really taken care of my body. You heard that right. In spite of exfoliating, moisturising, nice clothes, make-up, I have been neglecting it. Sounds like a paradox? Let me explain.
Here is how it happened:

These past months have been extremely stressful for me, and I began to have body pains that were psychosomatic in origin. The peak point  was after an experience which finally relieved me of a ton of heavy responsibility, and almost exactly in the same moment all the stress and pain of the past months finally crashed down on me -- not just mentally but physically. Everything hurt, body and soul.

With my therapist I learned that when I took a couple of minutes to sit with whatever I felt, the sensations would calm down and I would feel better. Paying attention to my body sensations, especially the tense tissues gradually released whatever was stored there. Physically it felt as if things were evaporating from my tissues, and left me feeling light.
I had to be actually present and in my body. This was not easy. And then I realised I have not done this since a long time. I had never actually sat with my body, never actually listened to it, not since a long time.

I looked back at years of body care, of dressing nicely, taking care of my skin and hair, exercising and eating well, of going to the doctor whenever I felt something was off. All this time I had been taking care of my body as if it were an object. I exfoliated and moisturised just like I scrubbed my kitchen counters and oiled my chopping board. When I applied Ayurvedic oils on my body, I felt how my skin felt to my hand -- but never actually felt how it felt to be touched by my hand. I didn't really pay attention to hunger cues. When I did pay attention to the sensations, it was often with judgement.

Why?
Because, as I wrote in my last post, it can be dangerous. Feelings may rise up that one doesn't want to feel.

I wanted to share ways in which I try to get in touch with my body in small steps, but one of my favourite instagrammers has coincidentally shared her very similar ones in a much more poetic way:

K E E P • I T • S I M P L E . Recently, on my friend Natalie's new podcast, I had the opportunity to reflect on what self care means, looks like, and allows me to do in my own life. What I realized through that conversation is that the most important self care practices are also the most simple. When we tend to the basics, we begin to thrive naturally. While it can at first seem seductive to take a ten day retreat in an exotic location and return to your daily life ready to take on the world, I personally don’t think things works like that. Real vitality and resilience are cultivated through offering our full attention to the simple tasks of daily living - again, and again, and again. . Self care costs nothing. Want to practice it right now? Put your phone on airplane mode and go outside. Breathe the sweet air all around you. Take a minute to fill your favorite glass with water, then drink it slow. I’d you’re still thirsty, drink more. When you get home tonight, turn out the lights thirty minutes earlier than unusual. Light a candle. Sit still and breathe. Dance. Massage yourself with or without oil. When you are hungry, eat food. When you are tired, rest. When you feel overwhelmed, slow down. If your life feels chaotic, do less. . The most meaningful solutions are those which are slow and steady, and which you already hold within you. Because you know what you need to do to take care of yourself. If you say you don’t, more than likely what you mean is that you do know, but that you don’t want to do, or don’t believe that you can do, whatever it is you know you must. This totally okay and totally normal. Sometimes all we need to get back on track is a gentle reminder that it is okay to nourish ourselves in whatever ways we need most. . So, I hope you’ll listen to the recently released interview I mentioned above. It was recorded last week with Natalie Ross of @selfcareclubbb and @dreamfreedombeauty. And if you're doing pretty groovy right now, then this might be a good one to bookmark for a later date when you need a little reminder of just how and why to care for your sweet self. . . photo by the truly incomparable @lesliesatterfield
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I would love to know your thoughts about this topic. I know I have been rather personal here, and I promise that the blog will not be taken over by such "heavier" topics. However I wanted to share this realisation as it has played a huge role in my life, and it will doubtless colour the way I will be approaching my personal beauty care.



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