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Does all this talk about self-care make you feel pressured to, well, self care? Like, is the world just adding another set of tasks to your to-do list? I feel you. Now on top of everything else I need to take more time to journal, meditate, list 10 things I’m grateful for, drink 150 oz of water daily, sleep 9 hours a night…? And inevitably feel bad about myself if I don’t? Sigh.
Don’t get me wrong – these are all good things to do and self-care is important. But I think it’s also important to do it YOUR way. Not your sister’s way, and not that social media influencer’s way. Nobody knows what you need better than you. I declare today your day to stop bowing to the “experts” and ponder for yourself what will make you happy. What will make you less stressed? Maybe you need to delegate some household chores to the kids? It will do them good to have a little responsibility anyway. Rather than adding something to your to-do list, maybe you need to cut something out? Or swap something? Maybe you’re feeling like you need to lose weight so you’d better take an intense cardio class that will burn the most calories, but your body is begging for something milder like a stretch class or some yoga? Imagine listening to your body rather than trying to coerce it into submission. What a concept.
Maybe our self-care needs to be forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves for not being a size 4. Or for not being in our 20’s anymore. Or for being disorganized because try as we might to Marie Kondo our lives we are just kind of messy.
It’s a funny phrase, “self-care.” We should begin, it seems, with the word “care.” Not by doing a thing, but by feeling a thing – by feeling caring for ourselves. Caring about our own happiness as if we like ourselves. As if we want peace and happiness and believe that we deserve it. Maybe our self-care needs to begin with self-love. Self-acceptance. Giving ourselves a break. Knowing that we are doing our best and being ok with whatever that is right now.
This Feel-Good February I plan to stop, take a deep breath, remember that I love myself. Also I’m going to thank myself. I, like you, have been through some stuff. Let’s be gentle with ourselves. We are pretty great after all.
So what do you think? Are you in? Good. Now let’s go have a glass of water.