What is Self-Care?

I’m writing this at 9:28pm. It’s due tonight. Self care for me means sitting down and doing what I say I’m going to do, and noticing how much it sucks when I wait until the last minute.

Noticing is the first part of this self-care equation for me. The second is changing my own behavior so that I’m no longer up late working, feeling pressure of a deadline and feeling a tad resentful. ( Resentful at myself for waiting so long to write this )

Note to self: when you say yes to doing something, schedule it in your calendar during your work hours and set your “concentration app” so that you have an hour or two devoted to the project.

That feels so much better already I must say.

 

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Self-care is about awareness, and making adjustments to minimize suffering. @Catherine_Just

 

This past month has been….interesting.

My family and I flew out to Los Angeles for the Learning Program at Club 21. We go there monthly to give Max the opportunity to live his best life, and it offers us ways to help Max do so. As we landed I felt a sinus cold thing come on strong.

During the trip I had planned on going to a book launch party and was meeting  some friends there. I had been looking forward to this event for weeks. We drove across Los Angeles on a Friday night ( not an easy task to do with a toddler who would rather be doing anything else! ) And when I got there I knew I had made a mistake. The cold was making me feel like I was in a tunnel or a bubble or a little of both. I felt horrible and needed to go home and sleep. Even though it was an event that I bought tickets for and was looking very forward to I knew underneath it all that I cared more for myself than I did for this one event.

I spoke my truth to my friends and went home before the event even started.

I was afraid at first to disappoint them and was saying I was fine but right after I said “ I’m fine “ I knew there was something underneath the surface that I wasn’t saying. I needed to speak it.

 

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Self-Care = Speaking my truth. @Catherine_Just

 

 

 

So I mentioned earlier that this month has been interesting.  Let me explain.

 

After we got home from that visit in Los Angeles, I got sick, went to urgent care twice, was on two rounds of antibiotics, and the sickness just keeps moving around. I had the flu, bronchitis, sinus infection, a pulled shoulder blade, pinched a nerve in my neck, pulled something in my lower back, and have had an eye infection for weeks and I’m heading back to the doctor tomorrow morning. { update: the doctor says I have a corneal infiltrate, translation: my cornea is messed up. Going to see a specialist today }

Have I been wondering what this means? Oh yea, you bet. Everyone tells me that it’s the universe or God’s way of making me slow down. And it sure did that. I was unplugged long enough to read and do the workbook for the Desire Map and that my darlings was some of the best self-care around. It took me being knocked down with sickness to go inward.  So for that I can say that there’s a bit of gratitude for the slow down….

But, after a few days unplugged I’m back at it.  I’m still taking care of my son Max as I work from home. I’m still needing to be his aide in preschool Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am – 12 noon. I’m still needing to schedule appointments for Max and for myself, go grocery shopping, do laundry, take the trash out, interview people for the new CtheG tv, lead my Soul*Full eCourse, share about my newest photo program, write blog posts, market myself through social media, stay caught up in online courses I’m taking, meet with my clients on skype, edit videos,  create new products and services, make my art, go to Max’s weekly Speech therapy sessions, do dishes, look at new preschools, plan Max’s birthday party…… you get the idea. Oh yea…and Shower!

So………How in the BLEEP does self-care happen in this run on sentence of go go go ?

I let go of my image of perfection. And when I grab hold of it again, which I do regularly, I let it go again and again. I suffer so much more when I think everything needs to look a certain way.  I also work at not comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. That phrase is something that was said to me so many years ago when I was first getting sober and it still rings true. Keep your eyes on your own paper.

I ask for help. I melt down. I make green juice. I take a shower almost every morning. I don’t use an alarm clock to wake up. I eat as healthy as I can ( vegan with no wheat dairy and sugar ) unless I’m on a rampage of meat, wheat, dairy and sugar which happens…after which I suffer, notice and make adjustments. I stay sober for over 25 years. I don’t smoke for over 15 years. I surround myself with people who “get” me and who inspire me. I take art classes. I cry. I yell. I feel entitled. I breathe. I don’t put myself in situations that make me feel uncomfortable. And I’m not talking the doing something new, or stepping into my power. I’m talking, situations where the environment or the people and I don’t fit and I feel less than or bad or any of that stuff. That means I spend more time alone than I do out at the the party. I honor that part of me that needs to be alone. I used to always feel the need to be out. I thought that you would forget I existed if I wasn’t out there around you. But that no longer serves me. I prefer to stay home. It’s who I really am right now. The more comfortable I am in my own skin, the less I go against myself to gain external approval. 

There have been times in my life when I don’t really do self care unless I’m in enough pain to notice that something needs to change. I’ve been much more invested in Self-medicating, distracitons and reaching toward something on the outside to fill up the empty hole I feel on the inside. This just causes me so much more pain and eventually I do have to face myself and then on top of it I’ve created a mess with all the drama my actions of caused. At that point I’m on my knees and I cannot take it anymore. Sometimes the awareness comes more slowly and I suffer longer. Like the eating of the darned baked goods. Hello Blueberry scone from Starbucks. Like this “treat” is going to really be a caring thing for me to offer myself? I learn over and over and over that I suffer physically when I eat that way. My body does not do wheat, dairy and sugar without pain. Sometimes the learning curve is a bit longer. Other times it’s a no brainer and I hop off the pain train.

These days, it’s more about time management, speaking my truth, asking for help and personal freedom.

Laundry? Not doing it. Cleaning the house? Um…Not my thing. Dishes. I know it’s suppose to be meditative and all but I would rather power lounge.  ( you can learn about the art of power lounging HERE )

I must get real with what I truly LOVE doing and ask for help with the rest.

At the end of the day I don’t think I’m going to look back over my life and wish I had done more laundry. But I might regret not being at my son’s preschool to help him connect and communicate.

At the end of the day I don’t think I will regret not doing the dishes. But I would be really bugged if I didn’t act on the inspiration I feel to create eCourses and retreats or to connect with other like-minded people through the work I do.

At the end of the day, when I’m a melting puddle of stressed out overwhelmed goo, I call in the troops to help. I’ve seen others brush off the idea of asking for help. I think hey, more power to ya. Not this girl. I cannot pretend I have it all together and pull that one off for even a second. I need help. My husband helps with laundry and dishes ( dreamy I know! ) I have help with Max here at the house so I can go to my home office and close the door and work uninterrupted for a few hours every day. My mother-in-law comes over to watch Max so I can go to the doctor, see the chiropractor and go out occasionally on dates with my husband. I hire professionals to help me clean the house so I don’t live in a mess. I find that asking for more help than I think I need is actually the key my sanity some days.

 

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Self-Care is asking for more help than I think I need and allowing myself to receive it.

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to speak your truth, ask for help, notice and make adjustments in your life according to what you really needed?

What is Self-Care for you?

I’d love to hear what your real self-care looks like.

Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

This post is part of a Blog Hop that Tamarisk Saunders-Davies and Mara Giatzel asked me to be a part of called “ The Perfectly imperfect Project: Real Self-Care. “

 

Go check out the other articles in this project. They are truly inspiring, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

xo