Rethinking self-care

Rather than explain my lengthy blogging hiatus in its own post, I’ll tell you that writing was not a priority over the summer, then I hurt my back early in the fall, so the blog took an even bigger back seat in my life due to that.

Now that we’ve covered that, this article on self-care was in a daily newsletter I received earlier this week. Self-care is a term that is thrown around a lot. I used to think it was getting my regular manis and pedis, keeping my hair cut and colored, getting massages, that sort of thing. To some degree, it is, but lately I feel that it isn’t.

This article resonated a lot with me. It begins, “We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs.” This is one of those metaphors that many know but often ignore in real life.

But the second paragraph begins, “Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor.”

This whole article hit me like a ton of bricks because I know that I really have to take care of me and I’ve realized my thoughts on self-care are changing, especially since my physical therapist gave me a hard time in December because I never took any time off due to my back. This means there were many days I worked while in significant pain or after many nights of little sleep. I worked and maintained all my necessary responsibilities, but used my weekends to rest, and I thought it was enough, but in reality, it wasn’t.

 This is what I’ve realized:

  • Self-care is deciding to NOT get the manis and pedis as much because my time is important and adding the 20-minute ride in each direction plus drying time just wasn’t worth it at times.
  • Self-care is making time to read a book each day, even if just for 15 minutes, because reading is good for my brain.
  • Self-care is not watching as much TV because there are just better things to do.
  • Self-care is deciding not to watch This Is Us live on Tuesday night (the only show I typically watched live) because going to bed at my normal time is better for me than staying up until 10 when it’s not necessary.
  • Self-care, speaking of bedtimes, is giving myself a bedtime and sticking to a wake up time, even on the weekends, to regulate my messed up sleep patterns that were affected by my back pain.
  • Self-care is accepting that sometimes I have to leave a mess, rather than spend all my down time cleaning.
  • Self-care is cutting back on social media and unfollowing people as needed.
  • Self-care is not over scheduling myself, even if it means saying no to some invitations, because I need to take care of me and I need to rest.
  • Self-care is not buying things unnecessarily, so that I have a healthier bank account and less clutter. Less clutter means less stuff to think about and less stress for me.
  • Self-care is paying greater attention to our finances because budgeting and spending less have given us greater financial freedoms and less stress.
  • Self-care is making a point of getting outside when the weather allows it (and there isn’t a chance of my face freezing).
  • Self-care is making a point to write down three things I’m thankful for each day, even if some days I feel like I’m stretching because I had a tough day.

And finally, self-care is not pushing myself to write when I don’t feel like it. I love to write, but when I’m not feeling it, I’m not feeling it, and what’s the point of writing out of obligation when this blog is supposed to be fun? I hope to get back to writing for my blog, but when the inspiration strikes, not on a schedule because that’s what I think I should do.

Until next time, happy 2019 and take care of YOU!

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