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Is Caring for One's Home Self Care?

I recently started reading the new release Real Self Care by Pooja Lakshmin, that my best friend lent me. Lakshmin dives deep into the history of real "self care" and how it has morphed into the crazy multi-billion dollar industry that it is today. Personally, I have grown frustrated with the trending phrase "self care", feeling more and more pressure to make sure I am incorporating fast-fix self care into my life, like it's another thing on my to-do list. Lakshmin's mission appears to be educating women beyond what she calls "faux self-care" (aka one-time fix-it retreats, bubble baths, face masks, etc) and teaching how to incorporate authentic forms of self-care deep into our lives (aka setting boundaries, being kind to yourself, bringing you closer to knowing and understanding your authentic self).

As I've been reading the book, I can't help but ask myself, how am I deeply taking care of my self in this holistic way? How am I setting the stage for a life that makes me feel well-taken care of? That allows me to get to know my authentic self? That allows me to assert control? I can't help but answer -- through my home.

Our banquette room, where we eat breakfast and most of our indoor meals.

Before reading Real Self Care, I had already been thinking of cleaning as a form of self-care. Thanks to an active family, open windows, a shedding dog and a 5 year old, I find myself doing A LOT of tidying and cleaning. Instead of being bitter about it, I choose to see it for what it really is - my way of taking control of my space, so that I can enjoy my best life.

So if I dive even deeper, where does self-care fall in the realm of interior design? Personally, I think that investing in your space, where you are living out the days of your life, is most certainly a form of authentic self-care. Your home is the base where many of life's memories are formed - both big and small. In other words, it's the backdrop to your life. So if a thoughtful layout can transform the way a family interacts with one another, or a different color palette can change how someone feels when they walk through the door after a stressful day, then that is most certainly genuine self-care.

My husband's study, where we spend most evenings during the wintertime.

I also find that I take care of myself deeply by regular decluttering. Boy do I love things, as you see here in these photographs of my home. But what I can't stand, however, is the feeling I can have when I am spending all my time taking care of "stuff". So many things come into a home on a regular basis, so I work hard to make sure that things go out on a regular basis, too. I make sure items have a "home" and bring joy or function (preferably both!) - otherwise, I most certainly don't want to clean it, repair it, water it, store it, and spend part of my mortgage/$$ on it. Again, this may not sound like self-care, but I am most certainly taking care of myself by making sure I'm controlling my possessions and not the other way around.

Our primary bedroom, complete with blackout curtains and treasures from our travels.

So what do you think? How do you take care of your home? And are you really in turn taking care of yourself by pouring energy and love into your home? I think so!

XO, Bonnie

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