Thoughts on self-care.

Cindy LaFerle’s blog post, entitled “Extreme Self-Care”  was a stark reminder that taking care of  ourselves is a mammoth task because we are hard-wired to care for others first and because we fear people’s negative responses to our desire and attempts to care for ourselves.

You’ll find the word “self-care” in many of my articles but that doesn’t mean I have mastered it in my own life.  However, I am much better at my personal self-care than I was several years ago. The guilt is not as intense or debilitating and my self-care practices are more regular. And, when I don’t perform regular self-care practices, it becomes necessary to up the ante and engage in some extreme self-care, which may entail a radical hiatus from the everyday-ness of my life.

Every now and then, when I am overwhelmed I slip into my calm space. I edit my thoughts and stabilize my emotions – allowing only what contributes to my self-care and my sanity. I only speak if it is absolutely necessary. I literally move slowly and more deliberately – observing, reflecting, appreciating, relaxing and treating myself gently. When I do, I discover more pockets of time to reflect, to write, to dream, to relax. Slowing down ushers me into a state of  self-care, where silence, solitude and reflection calms me and fuels my writing.

These are two aspects of regular self-care I give myself each week.

Couple days a week: After I drop my granddaughter to kindergarten, I take a slow drive off the normal route back home. It helps to ease the stress of the hassled morning. By the time I get home, I’m almost in a zen-like frame of mind – perfect for writing. 

Saturdays: I don’t cook or do household chores. I take my time getting out of bed. I write. I read. I sip and savor my cups of coffee. Some Saturdays I head out to the mall alone to engage in extreme browsing. I might come home with a new journal, a new pen, a new pair of shoes or a new handbag. 

The time alone and away is priceless.

Maybe you have one action or a routine that eases you into your calm space – a space where you engage in your own brand of self-care.  

Please read Cindy’s post. Examine your life and answer the question she poses at the end, “What have you done for yourself lately?”

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