Self Care Doesn't Give a Fuck About Your To-Do List
Self-care is one of the hardest personal agreements to honor.
We are all busy—there is always endless to dos, housework, our car to clean out, friends to catch up with, neglected relatives to call.
I am the easiest person to blow off, and I am guilty of blowing off my self-care dates often.
I find when I am busy, and need self care the most is when I often neglect it most.
When I’m moving and in a burnt out puddle, buried beneath pile of boxes and my body begs for 90 minutes to hand over decision making accountability and be lead through stretches and breathe in yoga—I choose not to go.
When I’m crushed under a mountain of work, with screen face (screen face occurs after 2-10 hours of online editing/working/writing) I decide I can go for a hike tomorrow, because there’s simply too much to do.
These are the times my body and brain scream for some grounding, fresh air and rebooting and I step over it to be productive and take care of business.
What is your self-care? How do you take care of yourself when you are running on empty?
Self-care varies for all of us.
My primary places to find self-care is yoga, surfing, swimming, the woods, and anything done in the mountains.
It has been scientifically proven that anywhere with breaking water (showers, waterfalls, beaches) releases negative ions. When these negative ions hit our blood stream they release the happy mood chemical, serotonin, which boosts are mood and helps take away sadness, anxiety, and stress.
A shower is a small dose; surfing/beaches and waterfalls are a greater dose.
Some people go rock climbing, some people go for a run, zumba, meditate, bath, bike ride, walk.
Although television isn’t the best (as we are more turning our brains off and checking out of the present moment) some of us also turn to the tube for self-care—letting ourselves be “off”.
Feeding ourselves nutritious food is self care—food that isn’t drowned in pesticides and from halfway around the globe and packed full of sugar and chemicals and crap.
Taking the time to cook dinner and not eat a microwavable Michelina’s chicken dinner because it’s fast and ready.
That is one form of self-care that I absolutely, positively refuse to neglect—my body deserves rich food, even when my wallet is skinny.
Eating chicken eggs that I can buy from the bottom of my driveway, fruits and vegetables grown upon the land I sleep on, and milk from cows that drink the same air as me—that’s self-care to me.
Going to a café and getting large quantities of small human interaction and connection is self-care—for we need human connection to be healthy/balanced/sane.
Treating myself to massages every once in a while to let someone work out the physical manifestation of my stress and emotions is necessary self-care.
Cleaning my car and my fridge out to create space and declutter is self-care.
When we don’t create space in our days for a daily dose of some expression of self-care we suffer.
We become less grounded, present, alert, and aware.
We need to move our limbs and be in the woods.
We need to stretch deliciously and breathe deep.
We need to sigh and let all our stress soak out in a bath.
We need to run and release endorphins and clear our busy brains.
When we step over self-care in the attempt to get more shit done and be more productive we are walking backwards—eventually there will be a burn out and then we will be useless for not only our work, our friends, our family and our partners—but ourselves.
It is our accountability for the people in our lives to show up for ourselves by taking care of our bodies and brains.
When we break a set date with our yoga mat, or our runners we are doing ourselves a disservice by breaking an agreement with ourselves.
I wish our yoga mats had the ability to call us on our shit.
So that when we blow our well being date off they could look at us, like a friend after we reschedule a dinner and say, “Really? You’re going to cancel? Why? What’s so important? Am I not important to you? Jerk.”
Your self-care doesn’t care how busy you are—make time.