Self Care

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.  

I survived.

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?