What comes to mind when you think self-care? Fluffy bath robes and truffles? Indulgence on the forbidden fruit of luxuries not otherwise a part of your daily routine? Or maybe, you think about the emotions that come with self-care and get them mixed up with guilt or selfishness. When you take a second look at self-care it's not about grabbing for something outside of your daily routine, it's hidden within it.
My teacher shared an article aptly named This Is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths And Chocolate Cake written by Brianna Wiest.
WOW, what an eye opener! Here I was thinking about the next time I might get to take a long soak in a hot bath, but remembering in the same breath how messy my house was and how much had yet to be done before that little fantasy was anywhere near the realm of my realty. The writer goes on to talk about how what we do in our daily lives and the routine or habits that we create for ourselves it what constitutes real self-care.
Self-care is when we choose our health, our peace of mind, and our happiness first especially when that choice is about making the right decision and not always the easiest or most glamorous.
"It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day."
Often the right decision is the most difficult decision because it places you first. When we are in a position of support for so many people and their needs have always come first it's hard to turn that around and care for ourselves. However, it's just like they say before you take off on any flight - "please secure your mask before helping others". If you are gasping for air - how in the world are you going to help someone else find their next breath?
Not only does that require a change in thought, but discipline as well. Anyone who has created change in their life can attest to the fact that it is not always easy. It does not happen when we are motivated to do it (although motivation helps), it does not happen when 'the time is right' and it especially doesn't happen when it's convenient. Change happens the moment you decide to make it so and practice the discipline it takes to get there. It's in that moment that you are truly caring for yourself and saying to yourself "I am worth this effort".
Self-care is self-love, even when it comes in unexpected packages like cleaning your house of clutter and putting away your laundry in a timely manner ;)