Samyak's Nook

Making a case for self-care

It's been a hard day's night

And I've been workin' like a dog

It's been a hard day's night

I should be sleepin' like a log

— The Beatles

After a few hard weeks of adjusting my social battery to meet new people, finding a place to stay, attending the office regularly (after years of not attending anything), working at odd times of the day and working out; I decided to lay down on my bed and sleep.

I wake up after 12 hours, brush for 5 minutes and clean my tongue, shave to my favourite jazz playlist, trim my nails, take a relaxing shower, moisturize my skin, stow my phone away in a corner of my room and just sit in silence. Doing absolutely nothing.

After many happening weeks (and even more happening weekends) ever since the start of this year, I had a tiny epiphany. I’m saying that it was a tiny epiphany because had it been a large one, you’ll make fun of me because I was taking a dump while thinking about all this.

So, I had this tiny epiphany thinking why do I deserve self-care. Isn’t it all unmanly? Ain’t I supposed to be young and wild and up and running 24x7x365 till the time I turn 30? After all, as of today, my body can tolerate all that I throw at it. Sleep deficits, brutal workouts, tons of junk food, excessive booze, countless rejections, skin infections — you name it.

But then again, I thought to myself: should it?

Should it tolerate all that I throw at it, that too for no good reason? Agreed, there are times when things keep coming right at you, and you don’t have the time to wind back to your bed and catch rest. Sometimes the opportunities are too good to pass. Sometimes there is a unfairly large reward for a relatively small amount of risk. But if it’s none of that, then why shouldn’t I take some time back to recharge?

I realized how tired I really was when I went back home after spending close to 2 months settling down in Bangalore. I had multiple days of sleeping for 10 hours or even more, not going out anywhere, getting to play with my little friend — the ukulele, and some other little friends — my younger cousins, 8 and 14, who came to visit us.

If you had asked me for a trip plan, a cool hackathon/product teardown idea, a night at some club in the city or even a few hours worth of video calls/chats, I would have outrightly rejected it. And probably that’s why I hardly made any calls or came down to visit anyone anywhere while I was chilling at home.

Why? Because my body really deserves it.

It does so much for me. My bones and muscles allow me to sit and stand and dance and roam about like a regular human being should. My face helps me communicate with people I know and love (and get me a date or two lol). My brain helps me think of crazy and scary and lovely and annoying things. My internal organs and the various other systems of my body help me function in ways I so often overlook. If I somehow manage to never overlook what all do my bodily systems do for me, and how normal they make me feel, I’ll probably be happier in general than ever before. Happy to report, that I’m inching closer to that point!

I think that my body deserves the care and love I give it occasionally, despite the fact that I’m at my most resilient self at this age (at least that’s what my elders tell me). And that’s not only because I want my bodily functions to sustain, but also because I’m grateful for all that my body does for me. All day, everyday.

Sometimes this self-love is tough. Sometimes it involves me pushing to my limits and seeing them move further. Sometimes it’s also to venture out in this amazing world and try to absorb all that it has to offer. Sometimes it’s about delaying the pleasure of being for sometime to enjoy a greater sense of being.

Just like with most other things, it has to be a delicate balance. A balance of pushing yourself to become the best, savouring all that the present has to offer and taking some off to treat yourself like a baby. Because life is tough, and the brakes of this goddamn F1 car need to cool down so that they can work properly!

To be honest, I don’t even know the point of writing all this. Perhaps it’s to justify and remind myself of the occasional moments of leisure that I often underrate because others are doing so.

After all, my brain also deserves to see its beautiful chemical abstractions on an electronic medium, like this blog page, and be happy about the fact it’s coming back to the writing groove and posting more and better stuff in the upcoming months.


— Micheal Jackson

#health #reflections #self