It's Saturday night, and what am I doing? Out dining and dancing? Catching a show? Going to a rock concert? Oh yeah.. I'm a party animal. I might be able to party like a rock star, but I can't recover like one!! As much as I'd love to head out on the town, I need to decompress, and do something for me.
A client made an interesting comment one day during a treatment. She had to sit still, basically, for 40 minutes, and remarked that she was having a hard time keeping her eyes open. Maybe it was the white noise of the machine, and being on a massage table with a comfy memory foam topper, lots of pillows, or, maybe it was as she said "I never stop." She had to stop for treatment, and her body was telling her to nap. Or, at least, just stop. Her comment really impacted me, because I, too, never stop. I'm sure many of you, dear readers, never stop either. We are busy working, getting kids to soccer, hockey, baseball, martial arts, music, dance, whatever lessons, or games, or competitions. We rush to the gym after or before work, we fight traffic to get anywhere for anything, then we go home, cook, do homework, do work work, clean, connect with family, catch up with friends, plan the next day, or millennium, throw in a load of laundry, and crash.
Self care isn't just about making sure we eat healthy, get proper rest, get proper exercise, and hit the spa once a year, or get a mani/pedi once a month. It's about being selfish, and that's ok. It's ok to be selfish. Being selfish means being able to say no to certain things, and just doing something for yourself, even if that something is running a bubble bath, soaking until the water gets cold, or enjoying a favourite hobby without interruption, or maybe, getting in the car, turning up the radio, and driving to nowhere in particular. Being selfish doesn't mean only thinking of yourself, and taking care of yourself, but sometimes it means thinking of yourself, just for now, for tonight, or today. It means saying no to overtime, or the get-together after work, or meeting up with friends for drinks and and dancing, or simply saying no for the sake of sanity.
Self care is also about getting out there and doing the things you love, and getting away from it all. Putting deadlines on hold for a couple of hours, or even a day, or reconnecting with nature, or a favourite show or book. It means giving to yourself instead of everyone and everything else. It means just stopping the chaotic daily life, and taking in the beauty of life. Go for a hike, plant some flowers, create something beautiful, play with your kid at the park, take an extra long walk with your dog, soak in the tub, with a glass of good wine, read a few chapters with a nice cup of coffee or tea, and shut the world out, just for a little while.
Why is this so important? Because we need to just stop every now and then, and more often than we think. In fact, we should even stop thinking, and just be. Enjoy a ridiculous romantic movie, or a good drama, or, if you're like me, a good adventure with super-heroes. I love my Marvel and DC Comics! Being selfish, and practicing self-care is all about replenishing yourself. If you don't do it often enough, you end up with the big BURN OUT. You crash. Life has little joy at that point, and we aren't meant to live without joy. And constant stress from the chaotic life WILL have an impact on your health. It's like being in a constant state of stress - gotta get here, there, do this, do that, get here, get there, get this project done, get to work, get home, bills, life.......All of this will impact your health in a negative way. It will manifest itself in pains, insomnia, weight gain and issues, heart disease, perhaps depression and anxiety, headaches, migraines, digestive issues, and a host of life-threatening things like, oh.. I don't know.. cardiac arrest? ( FOR REAL) Not good, at all.
So, for tonight, I soaked in a salt bath, enjoyed a glass (or two, being honest) of a good wine, and now I'm going to lose myself in the stars.
Live life. Look up at the stars. Wonder at the magic of the universe. Turn your face to the sun on a warm day, and close your eyes and soak it up. Pet your dog or cat. Kiss your significant other and hug your kids. Plant a tree. Read a chapter and lose yourself in the reading. Just sit back and enjoy a movie. Get our for a nice walk without a destination, and without your Fitbit, lay in the grass and watch the clouds drift by and see if you see anything in the clouds. Put some music on, crank it up, and dance around your house, just because it feels good. Don't have deadlines, just for one day. Ok. Maybe just for one hour. Your mental health and well-being will thank you, and the people you care about you, will thank you. We need to refuel, replenish, and simply relax. Do any of us even remember what it really means to relax?? Go out in a date night! Don't call home unless you sitter texts you and says the house if on fire!! (Has never happened to me, and I raised a pack of raptors, I kid you not!).
This is my escape.. my quiet time, my decompression. This is my self care. Getting on my motorcycle, opening the throttle, and leaving the day, the stress, the over-thinking, all of it. I just leave it all behind, sometimes only for about an hour but it's so worth it, and so necessary. And winter has been too long.
Whatever it takes to bring you balance, do it, and do it for YOU. No one else. Just you, just for a couple of hours, if that's all you can get away with. But.. Just Do It, as Nike says. You're going to find that life is just a little more enjoyable, and bearable.
And remember.... beYOUtiful <3