What do you want in life?  

It is a commonplace question and I have little doubt that your answer will be any less ordinary; you want to live happily. You want your hard work to pay off and for your triumphs to come quickly and be absolute. Granted, the idea of success is variable and perhaps that might make your answer a little different from the next, but, paradoxically, it is also a constant: everyone wants sucess in the future.  

I will ask you another question: what of now? What do you want your life to look like at this very moment? Is it all work and no play? Is your happiness and comfort paused as you struggle to bring about your future goals? This line of inquisition reminds me of a Twitter post I saw recently: “My current style isn’t my actual style. These are just the clothes I wear until I can afford to look like the bad b***h that I am.” Perhaps, waiting until you are financially stable is an appropriate approach to finding your clothing aesthetic, but self-care is a different matter entirely. 

As the cliché goes, “Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey.” Similarly, self-care is not a pit-stop on your road to success. Rather, it is the chocolate bar you always keep stashed in your bag to give yourself a little pick me up when needed.  It is especially useful on those days when you feel completely drained. It doesn’t matter when it sneaks up on you, because that sensation you get when you are exhausted is the same across the board. Maybe it’s your after-school volunteering opportunity; you remember signing on because you were genuinely excited about volunteering at the local hospital, but now, you are just going through the motions because it is no longer a passion, but a chore. Perhaps it is your early morning math class: your head feels like a lead weight and suddenly, your brain ceases to be the master of your body. Your neck rolls every which way and your eyes … oh, your eyes. Should you tape your lids open, so your teacher doesn’t catch you snoozing? Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you can will yourself awake because your mind has floated away as well. Your ears are for decoration and you sit there, unable to hear the teacher explain why the limit of the function on the board does not exist.  When, you ponder, will this cycle of mediocrity end? 

I’ll tell you: it’s when you take some time for yourself. There are 24 hours within a day and no matter how stacked your schedule is, I will bet that you can spare a half-hour to unwind and take some me-time. Do the things you like doing because, and I cannot stress this enough, you deserve it. 

Personally, I find comfort in the simple things. When the going gets tough, I find myself a calming melody, with a hint of bass and just enough soul to transport me to euphoric landscapes. When I am tired and need a pick me up, I paint my lips a bright color and curl my lashes so that maybe, they will lift my lids open along with them. When I am sad, I put on a facemask and sip on some chilled cucumber water because it is near impossible to be melancholy when you’re hydrated. These tips may strike your fancy, but then again, you could be allergic to cucumbers. The point is, me-time is for me and for you and it is ours to do with what we wish. Thus, make National Self-Care Day an everyday observance and treat yourself. 

Do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you.