Maintaining Practicing

What Q-Tips Taught Me About Self-Care

Cleaning your ears isn’t exciting. There are no fireworks or sparks. It isn’t some big spa day with robes and cucumbers. In fact, it’s kind of gross. It’s a combination of horrifying and satisfying. And it only takes about two minutes to do.

But, these short moments taught me a great deal. This uneventful and trivial task taught me the importance of self-care.

It’s The Little Things

I used to think of self-care differently. Shopping sprees, spa days, day drinking, you name it. It was a big and extravagant event. But, the simple and unassuming q-tip has changed my views entirely.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Treat your body like a temple.” But have you ever thought about what it takes to maintain a temple? To care for it and keep it clean?

I’m sure they have big cleaning days. The monks go all out, scrubbing it from top to bottom. They polish the floorboards and clean the rafters. But, the real work is done day in and day out. Those seemingly meaningless tasks add up and make a difference.

Cleaning my ears taught me this. It’s a small task and easy to overlook. Who’s even looking in my ears? Why should it even matter?

Your body and mind are the same as the temple. Sure, we need those big days. The days where we take time to relax and heal. But, the actual work is in the small tasks. The things that people might overlook. The things we tend to forget.

Moments Of Peace

Cleaning your ears takes some attention to detail. You can’t exactly see what you’re doing. You have to focus and go off the feeling alone.

There is peace in these short moments. These tasks bring small amounts of bliss and satisfaction. No one will notice or congratulate you on your efforts, just like dusting the statues at the temple every day.

These are the habits that genuinely add up. With these little things, we take the time to focus solely on caring for ourselves. It’s a moment of peace for yourself.

But, if we don’t take the time to do the little things, they’ll add up too. For example, it wouldn’t go unnoticed if the monks stopped dusting the Buddha statues. The dust would turn to grime, and then the statue would start to deteriorate. Over time, the statue and temple would lose their luster.

Think of your body and mind the same way. For example, if you don’t clean your ears for a month, you’ll start to notice.  You’ll pull out your earbuds and get a grim reminder. A reminder that you aren’t doing the little things.

I know this is a lot to learn from the simple Q-tip. Maybe even a bit farfetched. The point is, self-care is something we do every day. It’s the little things where we take time to be kind to ourselves.

Self-care can come in all shapes and sizes. From spa days to filing your fingernails, shopping sprees to washing your car. But, what can you do day in and day out to be kind to yourself?

-Aaron Lopex

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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