Long term versus short term self care

Emma Phipps published a beautiful piece about her experience pulling through a deep depression. She talks about two kinds of self-care. The first is the concept of watching Netflix or eating comfort foods to feel better in the moment. The second is anything you do in the interests of your future self. 

But the thing that quickly became obvious to me — as I stood every night brushing my teeth (hopefully with the right toothbrush) and staring into the mirror at a face I was so profoundly sick of seeing — is that when your back is really against the ropes and life is punching the sh*t out of you, the most important kind of self-care you can possibly practice is the kind that only pays off in the long term.

The best way I found of fighting the desire to flat-out stop is to operate under the assumption that you will keep going. And once we have this assumption, the bravest and hardest thing you can do is take every measure to make sure that once you reach the future, you did everything you could to make it good. It’s the glass of water drunkenly set on the bedside table times a thousand. It’s preparing a room for someone you’re not sure is ever going to arrive.
— http://www.popsugar.com/love/Why-Self-Care-Important-42630190

For her, that involved working out, spending time with people who could understand her pain and also help her out of it, cutting down on drinking, saving money, and going to therapy to rebuild her emotional foundation.

By devoting so much time to my future when I was low, I’m in a better position to attack the world now that I’m getting back on my feet. I’m grateful to my past self, the girl who was so sad and so tired, because she was also (and I recognize the oddity of using the word in this context) unselfish. She took care of herself but she also took care of me.
— http://www.popsugar.com/love/Why-Self-Care-Important-42630190
Posted on November 3, 2016 .