The concept of “self-care” has a rich and storied history. It began in mental health circles as, like, setting reminders to at least try to brush your teeth when you can’t get out of bed for two weeks. So boring! According to the top spiritual health and wellness gurus, what you really need to break you out of your funk is a nice spa day. A little pampering can go a long way if you somehow find the will to wash a few towels first. The best part is it’s completely drug-free, leaving your maladapted brain chemistry intact so you can enjoy every sensation, at least insofar as you can. Just find your symptom below and start soaking the sad away!
Chronic Feelings of Emptiness
Does life feel like a dumb French movie, slow-motion and black-and-white? Does every day feel the same, with no forward momentum, nothing to look forward to? Do you feel like you just keep falling deeper and deeper down a hole as the darkness overtakes you? What you need is some zing! Get in that tub and try a citrus-y, minty sugar scrub. The acidic fruitiness will cut straight through that fog, and the tingle of the mint means you’re feeling something, if only for a moment.
Inability to Enjoy Things That Used to Make You Happy
You used to have such a full, rich life. You played guitar. You painted. You had friends, lovers, and you relished nothing more than kicking their asses at trivia night. What happened? You don’t wanna do any of that anymore. You left your girlfriend because she was better off without you. Your friends try, but their words and hugs are blocked by the force field of your heart. All you can do is hide from the world under an exquisitely crocheted blanket.
Did you know that scent is strongly linked to memory? Try stirring those long-lost memories of joy with some nostalgic scents as you slide into the bath. Maybe a birthday cake scented candle to remind you of more carefree times or one that smells just like fresh-cut grass, just like your high school football field, where you’d lie looking up at the stars with your friends, back when anything was possible. Try some almond and coconut essential oils. Your first girlfriend smelled just like that. Remember what it felt like to love recklessly? No? Well, fine.
Okay. Okay. Shit. Okay. Do you have a therapist? Call them. It doesn’t matter how late it is; they would much rather you call them than not. If you don’t have a therapist or don’t know how to reach them after hours, try a hotline or a trusted friend. Are you on the phone? Stay on the phone. Please don’t be alone right now.
This calls for all the bells and whistles. You’re gonna need lavender essential oil, an iPod loaded with authentic Gregorian chants, every aromatherapy candle you can scrounge up, and at least three bath bombs. At least. Now, go into the bathroom. Remove all sharp or otherwise dangerous objects from the bathroom. Are you still on the phone? Stay on the phone. Can anyone come to get you? If you really feel out of control and you feel comfortable doing so, call 911. There are worse things than a little inpatient vacation.
Turn on the faucet. Add the oil and bath bombs. Light the candles. Press “play.” Stay on the phone. Help is on the way.