Self-care has become an unstoppable force in modern society, and it’s safe to say that our generation has embraced the idea of ”treat yourself!” From skincare routines to daily workouts and book clubs, self-care has become a highly desired way to optimize positive personal well-being.
While we can easily implement normative self-care practices into our lives, it’s possible that we can still endure internal struggles.
Personally, I’ve used my self-care regimen to address many superficial issues, but I still feel empty inside.
Dealing with inner emptiness involves a level of self-actualization and personal awareness that requires confrontation. Ultimately, this struggle with conflict is where most of us falter on a fundamental level.
Many cultures view confrontation as a form of instigation and aggression and therefore vehemently discourage it. Society often instills confrontation as a negative value, especially in our first moments of active awareness.
These cultural norms have created a worldview centered on avoiding issues, people, and perspectives that challenge our preconceived notions of both the world around us and our personal constructs.
But what happens when we are faced with the dilemma of confronting ourselves? When your biggest obstacle is your own inner demons, how do you practice self-care?
It starts with a simple look in the mirror.
Through my own battles with my personal demons, I’ve learned that looking at yourself in the mirror is a difficult task.
The first step in this form of self-care is to look them in the eye and declare their harmful behaviors. Then, you must find the cause of these negative behaviors.
Self-blame is detrimental to your progress, but acknowledging your demons can become your best tool.
Coming to terms with trauma and understanding the reasoning behind specific thoughts or actions gives you a deeper understanding of your personal self. Understanding who you really are and how your past has affected you is a huge leap towards self-improvement and self-love.
Face masks, exercises, and books are wonderful items to add to your self-improvement regimen. If you never tackle the root problems though, can you really heal?
The first step towards change is often the hardest, but it’s worth the effort.
Related Stories from YourTango:
If you face your own demons, nothing will stop you from becoming the best version of yourself. We are our own worst enemies, but I urge you to become stronger.
Face your past, acknowledge your shortcomings, and begin to understand your perceptions. Once you’ve taken these steps toward self-improvement, you’ll become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Shelby Long is a writer, graduate student, and Unwritten contributor based in Texas. She is an aspiring counselor with a current license to practice as a chemical dependency intern. She writes about issues involving mental health, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, PTSD and more.
This article was originally published on Unwritten. Reprinted with permission of the author.