“Self-care is not about self indulgence; it’s about self-preservation.”~~Audrey Lorde
Yesterday I was having a crappy day. I was in a bad mood and feeling…
Maybe I was focusing on the negatives, on losses, on the past…maybe my ponytail was too freaking tight, but regardless the reason, I set myself up with my bad mood to have a bad day. So, mid-day, when I’d had enough (wallowing, complaining, self made misery), I gave myself the gift of a re-set. I got out of my house, got some sunshine, picked an essential oil for some aromatherapy, and went for some much needed self-care. I considered for about a mili-second, that I might feel guilty about leaving my house to hit my local nail salon; but when my child care provider gently nudged me to leave earlier for said self-care as opposed to later, I realized that my mood was not my own. I was affecting the energy of my house.
My kids are used to having a mother who requires alone time. They have a mother who likes quiet, books, yoga, the occasional massage or manicure,and time to herself. I’ve learned that those are HEALTHY things; and not things needing an apology or excuse to take for myself. Those things are what kept me sane once upon a time when I had four children under the age of six, and are the same things that keep me sane as a working mother with five children, ages six to sixteen. I can’t fill their cup if my cup is empty. I can’t build up their self-esteem if my own is depleted. I can’t make their day brighter, if mine is darkened. I can’t do that for anyone if I am not taking care of myself.
The actual definition of self care is “Any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate, and self-initiated” (wikipedia). And, this action that is under our control is not just to foster our physical well-being, but also our psychological, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. As humans, we are multi-faceted. Our needs as humans, to live healthy, happy, productive lives are just as varied; and just as individualized. I will never be the kind of human who finds going for a run relaxing; but the gym? Sign me up. So, not only do we not have to apologize for our self-care, but we don’t have to apologize for what activity we choose to do to make ourselves feel better.
If you practice or teach yoga, you are not immune to having bad moments, bad feelings, bad days. Yogis are the same as anyone else, and when we find ourselves sad or angry, we need the gift of a re-set just as anyone else would so we don’t get stuck longer than necessary focusing on what’s wrong, what hurts, what we can’t change. Don’t give those things undue power to manifest in your vibration. Self-care (get on your mat, meditate, get that massage) is a great way to reset a bad moment before it becomes a bad Monday. We control our mood because we control our mind, and no one need apologize for the self care it takes to make that happen.
There seems to be an unspoken judgement that if we take time for ourselves, then we are selfish individuals…we aren’t good friends, family members, parents… This could not be further from the truth. Being mindful and aware means acknowledging what our body/mind/spirit needs. Sometimes, the most generous thing we can do for others is to be able to show up for them being our best self. When we feel better, when we are happier, well rested…only then is our best self available. We are deserving of living a life where our best version of ourselves is available, taken care of, and the one that we have to offer to the world.
For some great self care ideas that nourish mind, body, and soul, click here.
Take time for you,