Okay, folks. We’re almost one month into this self-care thing. How’s it going?
Yeah. I thought so. Me too.
It’s HARD to take care of yourself. It’s hard to prioritize your own care in a world that is constantly pulling on you in every direction. How can you afford to take the time to take care of yourself when you can barely hold it together at work?
The answer is counter-intuitive. You can’t afford not to.
You cannot bless other people with what you don’t have. You can’t fill up someone else’s bucket when yours is dry. And I know that this is easier said than done. Even Valerie and I have fallen into the trap of rationalizing why we can wait, why everything else needs to be done first.
I struggle with chronic anxiety and panic attacks. As part of this challenge, I had decided that on payday, I would treat myself to a body scrub, a facial, and a mani/pedi–a little day of indulgence. I woke up that morning to a negative balance in my checking account. Due to an administrative issue, I had not been paid that day. It was scary enough to not be paid and not know why. But I knew that I couldn’t cancel the appointment. Not because of my “inner knowing” or my commitment to self-care. I couldn’t cancel because it was after the cancellation window and they would charge my now defunct card anyway.
Going anyway was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I had to scrape together the money for a tip. My heart was racing and I cried half the way there. But I left feeling awesome. I left feeling like I mattered and like I had some control over my life. My job could mess up my check, but they could not mess up my day. I told my dad later that I was glad I had gone, even though I couldn’t afford to go. He told me, “You couldn’t afford not to.”
I urge you, don’t give up on your self-care this year. It’s called a challenge for a reason. We are not in the habit of taking care of ourselves. We are endlessly giving, endlessly martyring ourselves, hanging on the cross waiting for excuses to buy new underwear, eat a decent meal, or take a vacation. You’ve tried that already. Now take the rest of the year and recommit to being deliciously, unapologetically greedy.
“Greed isn’t necessarily a character flaw. I believe that we are all essentially moral and generous. We behave badly only when we are profoundly ungratified. If you put a starved person at a banquet table, it would be inhumane and unrealistic to ask them to leave most of what’s there for others.” – Regena Thomashauer, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts
If you haven’t already, learn more about the Self-Care Challenge here.