Never a term has been in the forefront of my mind so much as this one recently….self-care; more than the spoonful of peanut butter that I take each morning (weird habit huh?) Not so much. Anyway, it is better than “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down“. Aah Mary Poppins, you are a delight. Thinking of her, she always seemed ready to begin the day, cheery disposition, creatively active and laughing…and you know, “perfect in every way.” Hahaha. Oh to have an umbrella that flies towards a life opened to possibilities as she would make it out to be. But one thing her bits and pieces of wisdom and wit portrayed, she carried around her trusty personal bag filled with comfort and things of infinite space.
Self-care, making room for you. Finding a way to create a space dedicated only to you and you alone whatever that means, whatever that takes. I am not saying being selfish but yes I guess I am. For goodness sake, be selfish…treat yourself to take care of ‘me, myself and I.” What a novel idea!! You cannot love another unless you love yourself. You cannot take care of another unless you can take care of yourself. And you cannot see the value in others unless you can see yourself of worth. Right?
Well that might be a bit extreme but the point I am making is that it is not selfish to love yourself and being kind to you. Isn’t there something about putting the air mask on you in an airplane before you put on another…..you cannot help someone else until you are in a good position yourself. Paying attention to the body, mind and soul for just a hot minute or ten (inflation you know). How about put it on your ‘honey-do’ list. NOW. LOL. Not the list of shoulda coulda woulda list that stems from last week, last month, last year. Yikes!! But the ME list.
Everyone deserves to be cared for, spoiled in a way. Think of it as a day at the SPA, not that I am a biggie on that one but hey each to their own. Of course I remember a good friend had taken me to get a pedicure one time (is that the foot thing??). Anyway it was so strange to have one’s feet taken care of but boy oh boy it was felt good afterward. Never had that before. But the point being, one’s body is a vessel that is to be treasured and tended to carefully gently. Although it has taken me a long long long time to get to that point (just ask my kids).
I can only speak from my small world as I ponder here. Maybe I take on too much in terms of others life journeys and circumstances. Well, I like to support others. Right? And I do care. True? But caring and taking on the caring are two different things. I think of the song He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Don’t you just love that song sung by the Hollies. It’s a tear jerker. It is just part of the makeup of me….but you can spread yourself too thin.
Now, I am not talking about standing in front of the mirror and primping and prancing…look at me “mirror mirror on the wall, whose the ‘fairest’ of us all” kind of self-care. Haha. Goodness, are you kidding? Seriously, I bypass the mirror for that…. what you see is what you get. No, it is more the health, well being, mental well being….all of the things the radio, TV, social media have been chanting and ranting (oops reminding) about. I think of the huge billboard media signs that cross the width of the big highways on the 400 and 401 in Ontario for example….you know the ones flashing and looping the message Stay Home Be safe Stop Spread. Well maybe they should do a loop around self-care too. Be Aware….Self-Care. I think now more than ever.
Times have changed, for better or worse, and our very being is impacted and affected. So hail to the self-care and all that jazz. It’s time for nourishing and nurturing you in a way that allows you to be a better version of self. I am not saying go get a gym pass (although its an option). But what do you do for yourself? Where is the me time in your day? Getting to know Karen time….that is the question. To be or not to be….Karen. LOL.
As a woman wearing many hats -mom, grandma (Rara), daughter, sister, friend – I like to give; do not even think about it. To give of myself in offering my time, listening ear, energy, thoughts (five cents worth now), ideas, advice (cautiously), support, love, forgiveness (always), compassion, wit (or try to), laughter (probably too loud) and I would be remiss in forgetting the nagging (my daughters would remind me later on). Just to be present (thanks Grandpa for showing me that). Well, now I am worn out. Whew…and that was only for the first hour of my day. Goodness I am good.
LOL. But seriously, in order to do what I like to do and be who I want to be, there is a me in there to be tended and cared for. An “I” of significance. It may not be a big word, use up too many letters from the alphabet department but “I” is made in the image and likeness of God. “I” has a name. “I” has purpose, meaning, substance, feelings, depth, story. It is knowing when to make yourself a priority. What a novel idea? And I am not facetious here…it is “me” telling the “I” to look after “myself”. None of that, been there – done that, kind of thinking. It is kind of like making an appointment with me so that at the end of the day as Katie Reed a motivational speaker once said “self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Does that make sense?
I am not sure how I got to this place of thinking as I have really not taken care of me. Okay, rarely. Anyhoo I am grateful. For recently, with the support of my daughters and sister and a chance encounter and conversation that my nephew had and his care for me, I am doing some self-care of my own. Wow, just wow! And I realize that it is about time. There is no point in me being a model for those I love, if I do not practice what I preach. What is that old adage, you got to “walk the talk”.
So today, not tomorrow, but today give yourself the present of you. What does it look like? Only you know. How about….bubble bath, sit just sit, read for an hour (or 3), hide under the covers, buy some real flowers that smell, take a nap, do a puzzle (not the 1000 or 1500 piece for goodness sake), go for a long walk, put on cozies or flappable onsies, go to grocery store and pick out ANYTHING wrong unhealthy for you (or not), go for a drive ANYWHERE, do yoga, say ‘no’ to someone, write a letter or email to an old friend, cuddle with your pet, just do something anything for YOU. Just breathe.
Self-care happens days that end with a “y”. So ponder this. Hey google inspire me to self-care:
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Brene Brown
“Caring for others is important, but Covid-19 taught us that sometimes, by caring for yourself, you’re caring for others too.” Becca Kaye
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” Hellobombshell.com
“You owe yourself the love you give freely to others.” Anon
“I make it a point to practice self-care. I make an appointment with myself” Manisha Singal, MD
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” Audre Lorde
“When you say “Yes” to others make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself. Paola Coehlo
Blessings this day. Just breathe. That is a great start.
Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers and for the love of self.