If anyone understands self-care, it is me. I have no excuse to do anything other than self-care these days. I am mostly an empty nester; I mostly live alone and my business is on the first floor of where I live that is mostly self-care themed.
Yet I am curious as to why at any time on most days, when I have an entire space of treatment rooms, foot soaks, paraffin treatments or facial supplies I don’t take advantage of the bounty? If you looked in your own homes right now, how many facial masks, or self-care kits do you own that you have been meaning to do? It is curious to me why we don’t. Why I don’t more than I do, especially when I feel so good after I do.
Why Don't We Practice Regular Self-Care?
I sell plenty of self-care kits and I love that they offer possibilities for anyone who decides to buy one. But I also never want someone to buy them if they are going to cause pangs of guilt every time they see the unopened box on their bathroom shelf.
I started thinking about the term self-care that is thrown around aimlessly, taunting us into thinking that we are supposed to be doing more. I am guilty of it myself being in the beauty business suggesting that we could be doing more to care for our precious selves. I have social media posts ready to send out on the very topic.
I decided to really reconsider the term self-care. What self-care means to me is definitely different than what it means to a mom of a new infant, or someone dealing with a recent diagnosis or even a loss. Self-care - caring for one’s self- seems like such a broad brush stroke.
Self-care while we are navigating this Covid and divisive political climate seems more necessary than ever. I continue to have conversations with business owners, teachers, nurses, medical professionals, moms. Everyone is exhausted and we are exhausted from being exhausted. The notion of self-care seems almost inconsequential in the scheme of things these days.
But I also know that if I don’t figure out ways to find joy and incorporate small bits of care in my daily life, I don’t feel good spiritually, mentally, physically.
A More Active Type of Self-Care
Caring for one’s self sounds more active than the broad term of self-care sounds.
How do you care for yourself? And what is the payoff when you do? I would also ask what the payoff is when you don’t? I mean I know that if I meditate for only ten minutes in the morning sitting on a pillow using an app that guides me, I feel so good as I head into my day. Why do I skip it sometimes? I know that when I lift weights and do even a short burst of squats and sit ups, I have a deeper sense of strength as I move through the day, so why do I find myself instead sitting on the couch checking a bank statement?
I know we use the famous I don’t have the time as one reason for leaving ourselves out of the equation. I challenge this though, especially now that our phones give us day end summaries of how much time we have spent on them. Time is an excuse, generally. Could we wake up fifteen minutes earlier? Could we go to bed fifteen minutes later? Of course, so why don’t we prioritize the things that make us feel better and figure out ways to get them into our lives?
I don’t have the answer because I think that each of us needs to figure out what makes us feel good, better, best and do what we need to do to get whatever we need to get whatever we need to into our days.
Self-Care During Challenging Times
These last two years have been challenging for everyone. Caring for ourselves seems almost like a perpetual afterthought, but I know its worthiness because I have run a business that cares for people for over twenty years. I have seen the immense value of our simple work in the after effects of a treatment on a busy mom who uses an hour of her time to finally lie down on a massage table and take a breath. They walk out of my business differently than when they arrived. I want people to have these feelings on their own, too.
After years of working in the service industry, the first step is to pose the question of how and what gives you joy, what makes you feel better about yourself? Once you know the answer to this, how can you weave it into your everyday so that it becomes part of your life instead of compartmentalized? Daily joys as opposed to something special or separate from your daily life.
For me it is walking outside, noticing the chirping of a cardinal and taking the time to look up and actually spot him. It is finishing a writing piece that I woke up thinking about. It is remembering to take a good deep breath during a busy day or preparing lunches for myself ahead of time and actually sitting down to eat with a few pauses of the fork in between bites.
Caring for yourself doesn’t have to be extravagant or cost any money- it can, but it doesn’t have to. First, though, we have to figure out what that care is. In knowing this, you can get started in weaving more joy throughout your busy days. This is where the juiciness of life lives. So ask yourself What Gives You Joy? And do a little of that.