Do you self-care?
I am investing time in myself consistently!
Even before the course, I knew self-care was something I put last. Not surprisingly, as a mom, wife, friend, volunteer, business owner, spending time on myself is not something I would say I do well. I usually tried to squeeze in a short bubble bath here or there. Admittedly, only after everything else I am responsible for was done. By then, I was exhausted, and I would skip it more often than not.
Not surprisingly, this made everything I did feel more difficult. As a result, I was more grumpy, more often. I was constantly feeling like I was running on empty.
Learning to nourish with self-care
When I was little, my Irish Gramma taught me to drink tea. But, first, she would make a pot, then pour a cup. Then, being too hot for me, Gramma would drink the first half of the cup. Then it was my turn; after having a few sips, we would share the last drops with her poodle dog, Sandy. Then back to the kitchen, pour and repeat.
Tea is a staple in Irish culture, and you better not mess it up. First, you never wash the pot; it has taken years to get just the right flavour out of it. Keep a cozy over the pot to keep the tea warm. Always use smaller mugs, or it will be cold before you finish. But it would take me almost 40 years to learn the essential part. She never made a cup, always a pot.
She knew she was going to share it. So, if she made it by the cup, it would take much more effort to nourish herself fully. So, she was teaching me self-care. How often had I made less than I needed, only to be too tired to sustain myself?
We need to care for our heart
The course, combined with recognizing my Gramma’s lessen, began a trend of thirty minutes to nourish me per day. But, of course, how I use that time varies; sometimes I take a time out, others I call a friend, and often I have that bubble bath.
The difference is highly noticeable; I am changing my value structure by putting myself first. In just 30 days, I went from wanting to find time for myself to making time for myself a priority.
So what’s changed?
My happiness, taking time to fill my cup, gives me energy and inspiration. What happened next is quite profound. There was a significant increase in the quality of my relationships with loved ones and friends. I was able to bring that energy and inspiration to my daily interactions because I was positively adjusting how I was interacting naturally with others.
I began changing my patterns!
We live in patterns, and these patterns are part of the autopilot of our life. It’s kind of like when you get in your car and drive somewhere, and when you arrive, you can’t quite remember how you got there. Or how we all hate Mondays, love Fridays and get a little sad on Sunday nights and start thinking about work. Then, a couple of times a year, we go on vacation or attend an event that interrupts the pattern. My self-care each day became that interruption. As a result, I became hyper-aware of my patterns, which gave me clear insight.
I also began getting out of my way! I believe that we are our own best cheerleaders and our own worst enemy. Think about it, that thing you want for yourself that on some days is what gets you out of bed. Then the very next day makes you want to stay in bed. The fascinating part is it doesn’t matter what I chose to do with my thirty minutes that day; it is always just what I needed. I know that sounds super corny, but it’s just the truth. I don’t believe some cosmic force brought me what I needed. I think I found what I needed in it.
Where to Start?
You may be thinking that all sounds great, but how do I start. Especially when we have so much on the go, all the time, and live in an achievement culture.
The good news, any self-care you do counts. You don’t have to get it right, spend money, or invest hours in your day. Maybe you start with sitting quietly with your first drink of the day, or perhaps you book a massage.
The hard part is building consistency, especially when your monkey says other things are more important. So, I suggest setting a time each day, having a buddy to share your success and challenges, and being kind to yourself.