Let's talk self care. First, what is the heck is it?
In the immortal words of Tom and Donna from the hit TV show Parks & Recreation... "Treat Yo Self"
(Click here for a video clip)
According to Wikipedia, "Self care is the individual practice of health management without the aid of a medical professional. In health care, self-care is any human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated, for the purpose of the maintenance of health and well being".
What does that really mean? Basically, it's anything you do on purpose to take care of your mind, body, and soul. It can be simple or elaborate, but one main factor to keep in mind is that self-care should not just be a reward for 'adulting' or for being responsible. And that is the part that I have some trouble with.
For the first time in my life, I have access to a pool at my home for the summer. WAHOO!!! Now, I should explain that I love sun-time and water, and I secretly do wish that I were a mermaid (ok, ok, not so secretly). Even though I finally have access to this pool, and we are talking less than one-hundred steps from my door, I haven't been going because of my to-do lists and responsibilities. I feel like taking that break and going to just sit in the sun and enjoy the water when there is so much to do is simply irresponsible and a misuse of my time. I know so many others that have this same internal battle on all sorts of things, feeling like you don't 'deserve' the nice thing because you haven't done the necessary things, or hard things, or the whole list of things.
Feeling good about yourself or doing something to boost your mood should not have to be a reward. It's a necessity. If you are having trouble finding the time, schedule it on your calendar. Make the time for it. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as finding time for it, which I figured out the hard way, i.e. never making it to the pool. I've made a deal with myself, that every day I will take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour for myself. I put it on my calendar or list of things to do, and I fit it in.
After I get the family off the work and school and take care of errands and chores, I will read or sit at the pool or do a quick mani and facial mask. When my feet are sore, I will grab a glass of wine and soak my feet for a while with the Gel-Ohh! Jelly Spa Bath (that stuff is miraculous). And when I don't have extra time I incorporate an "experience" into a daily task, I will simply light some incense or sage & palo santo and a candle, and enjoy a few minutes of aromatherapy as I fold laundry or straighten up. Or, I may just block out an extra fifteen minutes and instead of a quick shower I will light incense and pick one of our aromatic shop soaps that suits my mood and intention and enjoy the smells, breathe deeply, and relax.
It is so challenging to make this time at first, but after just one week I was looking forward to these things each morning and was no longer feeling guilty about it. I had to decide that I was worth it, that my time was worth it, and that I deserve to feel good during my day. It is just too easy to burn out and start feeling low if you don't take care of yourself, and I have found that I am a much happier person overall by adding just a short time of self care to my daily routines. I challenge you to do the same!!
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