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  • Kim Smith, M.Ed

The Inspiration

Self Care. This terminology is slowly starting to enter the realm of pop psychology, but people seem to still not fully understand how to apply it. I’m sitting here a whole therapist and I haven’t even mastered applying self care into my life nearly as I should. So, what does self care mean? Psychcentral.com explains it in the simplest form: Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. The fact of the matter is when one aspect of our overall wellbeing is out of whack, the rest is bound to follow suit. So how do we reclaim that balance? Is there this universal self care formula? Unfortunately, no because what may work for one person does not always have the same impact on another. The enigma of self care is my goal to unpack through this blog. I truly believe doing so requires me showing a little vulnerability in my own life. So here we go, please hold all tears to the end #imnotcryingyourecrying.

In this past year any semblance of self care I had developed went straight out of the window simply due to an unfortunate shitstorm of life occurrences. In January, one of my closet and dearest aunts died of a super rare form of cancer. It came almost out of nowhere and in such an aggressive form. Didn’t help that her passing was literally 4 days after my birthday. Just 2 months later almost exactly my father passed of multiple myeloma cancer. Anyone who knows me knows how much of a Daddy’s girl I am. My dad was my ultimate inspiration both spiritually and career-wise. While there was more anticipation of his death, losing a loved one is never easy. Just a month following my long-time boyfriend who I was in conversations with about marriage broke up with me. So here I am in a mental space of grief 3xs over, with no certainty of who I was anymore or of my future. I was HELLA slumped! Or in more professional terms, severely depressed. Well that’s where self care comes in right? I mean hypothetically yes, but the mental space I was in I needed significant direction into what that looks like.

So begins my journey with self care. It’s easy to think you’re taking care of yourself when everything is going right, but the minute things veer left all the knowledge and tools in the world goes out the window. So, the first step is identifying your supports and letting go of the pride keeping you from depending on them. I found myself stuck in that loop of “I don’t want to be a burden” or “they got their own stuff going on”. It took my best friend pretty much calling me out on my shit and saying in quotes “Kim! Stop! I am here for you no matter what so shut the fuck up and let me help you.” Sounds aggressive, but it’s what I needed to hear. It was the permission I needed to let myself heal and know I don’t have to do it alone. Fact of the matter is the people who mean the most to you and the people who truly value you will feel just the same. They will be eager to help so long as you let them in.

So, to those still tuned in, here is my permission to you, “Shut the fuck up and let them help you!” Think about those friends or family members who have stuck it out with you both in the highs and lows, your “Ride or Dies” if you will. Identify them and reach out. You don’t have to do this alone. Those people, and hopefully this blog, is here to help.

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