I assumed that because I booked somewhat regular massages and facials, I knew all about self care. I’d squeeze appointments in and race from one thing to the next.
Booking appointments didn’t make me good at self care, it simply made me a good scheduler.
To really practice radical self love, I needed to learn to say no. I needed to start saying no to things that no longer served me.
It’s not easy.
Awhile ago, my dad was hospitalized for an infection. After he was released I began visiting him each weekend. He recovered from the infection yet I was still visiting. While I love my dad more than words can ever describe, the visits were starting to feel a bit out of obligation. And I still kept visiting ( he was medically okay and I see him during the week). During the hour drive to him, I’d start to think about all the things I could be doing with the day.
My therapist made the suggestion to stop the weekend visits.
The idea felt sacrilegious. It felt so wrong, yet I took her suggestion and that following weekend I didn’t visit. I had to sit on my hands most of that Sunday morning when I normally would be visiting him. I was uncomfortable. I almost drove to see him.
In saying no to the weekend visits, I was gifted a day for myself. I fully recharge and, as a result, am more useful to him and others in my life during the week. As I look back, I can’t imagine I continued those visits for so long.
Self care looks like many things. Toady, for me, it’s therapy, 7 hours of sleep a night, a Thursday night AA meeting I won’t miss for anything, prayer, long walks in the morning with my dogs, dried mangoes, rose hip face serum, bringing my teddy bear on mydaily commute, a fancy blender, and a day workout. I schedule these things and make them parts of my day. I do them even when, especially when, I don’t feel like it. I work at not feeling guilty in doing them. I do them because I know they make me a better person. I do them because I am worthy of them.
Today, I know I need to treat my self care as non-negotiable as brushing my teeth.
How are you practicing self love?