As I was walking down the hall to put another load of laundry on this morning I was thinking about all of the things I could do today to make my week better. This is something that doesn’t come naturally to me – I’m really good at making choices that will make my day better, or my hour better, or my minute better, but what will make my life better? And then Karley posted this article she found on “Self-Care” and what it really is. Read it. It’s worth it.

My favourite line: “If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot to do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.”

This past year has been hard. Really hard.

I have given a lot of myself to others and not been the best at taking care of myself. Between teaching and Masters work I have been consumed by education. At home I have felt out of control with moving (twice!), and mental health issues, and not having enough time. There have been so many personal lessons I’ve learned this year (many too personal to share here) and I know that it all happens for a reason. But real self-care has continuously been my learning curve

Things I have learned about real self-care:

Sometimes self-care is making sure my kitchen is clean before I go to bed but it can also be not allowing myself to care about the unpacked moving boxes in the corner of the room.

Sometimes self-care is taking a day to relax but also making sure the laundry gets done.

Sometimes self-care is letting myself leave work early, but sometimes self-care is staying late to get things done so I can feel better the next day.

Sometimes self-care is saying no to the awesome Halloween party I have wanted to go to for three years because I know getting a good night’s sleep is what I need.

Sometimes self-care is not caring that I don’t have time for an hour workout and choosing a 20 minute walk over nothing at all.

Sometimes self-care is deciding not to buy something that I desperately want, because the stress of paying for it is not worth the desire to have it.

Sometimes self-care is choosing the salad when I actually want the nachos.

Sometimes self-care is turning off my favourite TV show and picking up a book.

Sometimes self-care is walking home from work.

Sometimes self-care is giving up caffeine because the pick-me-up is not worth the anxiety it causes me long term.

Sometimes self-care is simply saying no.

And more often then not, self-care is forgiving myself for not choosing real self-care AND doing things better the next time. (Because you can forgive yourself for something and still care about it).

Self-care is about learning more about myself and being in tune with my long-term needs and it is totally un-glamourous. This week I’m going to do better with this and be more realistic with my goals.

My three self-care goals this week:

  1. To workout three days
  2. To get up 20 minutes early
  3. To practice mindfulness/meditation 5 days

(Now that it’s in writing I’ll have to do it, right?)