I’m feeling pretty hardcore when it comes to self care lately. Ye ol’ anxiety has reared its ugly head extra ugly recently – if I’m honest, August was the WORST – so I’m all in. Loving myself and getting zen like a BOSS. Because I’m so over this nonsense.
I hesitated to write this post because, well, I hesitate to write every post. It’s particularly hard for me to write when I’m struggling, or when I’ve been struggling, because I don’t have a rosy “after” picture to paint just yet. We love to hear about the journey once it’s complete. I’m totally guilty of only wanting to watch a movie once I have been assured that the ending will be happy. You don’t read many books that end with, “…so we’ll see how that goes. Hope it turns out OK.” We like happily ever after. We like watching the house renovated in fast-forward so we can see a picture of the crap shack right next to the shiny new granite-counter-topped beauty it will become, all within a 60 minute window. Including commercials.
I don’t have my granite counter tops installed yet. I can’t promise a happy ending. I don’t have a “before” and “after” picture to show you. I’m in the middle of my story, and I don’t WANT that to end anytime soon. So here it is, and if you want to come along for the ride, I’ll gladly have you.
Again, hardcore self care. That means different things for different people, of course, but I’ll share the formula that works for me.
Establish some non-negotiable daily activities- things you will not allow to drop out of your schedule. For me, this means yoga and meditation every day (my new fave app for meditation is Insight Timer). Meditation is a new one for me- I’ve dabbled in it before, but I’m realizing with practice how important it is to my mental health. So every night, right before bed, I put on the app and make it happen. Also, fresh air. Even when I’m pooped, a walk does wonders for my body and brain. A day cannot go by without these things, even if they only take up 15 minutes each.
Sleep. My bedtime is 10pm. If I’m out and about past that time (THE HORROR) I get tired and anxious. No bueno.
Eat good food. I’ve been going to more farmer’s markets lately, and totally reaping the benefits with fresh fruits and veggies. (And micro-greens. When did they become a thing? I’m totally buying into the hype.) When I eat crap, I feel crappy. So I eat good, high quality food every day. If a cupcake sneaks in there as well, that’s fine (necessary, sometimes), but the vast majority of my intake is whole, fresh, nutritious food. And that’s that.
Drink. Never do I not have a water by my side. I also drink Amazing Grass Superfood Blend every day along with lemon water and apple cider vinegar. I know there are all sorts of debates about whether these things are actually as magical as we’ve been told they are, but I know my body feels better when it has them in it. So I drink it. Every day.
Time with my husband. We have opposite schedules, so when we do have a day or an evening together, being together takes #1 priority. Whether we go to the beach, out to dinner, or just sit on the couch holding hands and watching sitcom reruns, nothing is allowed to interfere with that time.
Time with myself. The more I take care of me, the more I like me- who knew? Those walks in the fresh air are my favorite times to spend time with me. We have the best conversations.
Girl stuff, hygiene stuff, grown-up stuff. I feel better when my nails are painted a pretty color. And I’m getting better about taking my makeup off at night, because my skin feels nice when it’s clean and moisturized. I’m flossing every day. I take my vitamins. And I bought myself a shiny new Blender Bottle for my funny green drinks. I read and re-read my favorite books by my favorite authors, like “Carry on Warrior” by Glennon Doyle. Sometimes I turn the A/C down so I can cuddle up in my favorite cozy sweater. And when a bill needs to be paid or a paper needs to be edited (I do some freelance)- I get up and do it, even if it’s past my bedtime, because I’ll sleep better when I know it’s done.
On the flip side, if any of those grown-up things are stressing me out too much, I write them down on a list for tomorrow. And I put them in a special closet, on a special shelf, in a special part of my brain, and close the door. To be opened tomorrow, after I go for my walk.
This self care, self love, self discovery business is no joke. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. An epic novel, not a short story. A ballad, not a pop song. Like this list of metaphors, it’s never ending.
I’m down. Cue the ballad. I’m worth it.