Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Welcome to Self-Care Sundays! I will be doing a series of blogs to explore concepts of Self-care and personal development. Practicing Self-care should not be confused with being 'selfish'. Self-care should focus on being Self-centered (balanced mental, physical, and emotional health).
This world sometimes demands everything of you. You wear many hats and there are a lot of responsibilities that you hold but you have to protect your energy. You are a limited resource, after all. There's only one you.
We live in a world that glorifies Self-sacrifice, humility and resilience. Those who pushed themselves to the limit are cannonized. We sing songs about overcoming hardships. Those who complain about hardships seldom find a sympathetic ear. For a long time, I operated under this accord: be strong, persevere, don’t complain.
"You can't pour from an empty cup."
I’ll be honest, that mindset was productive but it wasn’t sustainable. I found myself not just ‘tired’ but exhausted. I couldn't find the energy to do anything that I wanted to do. I could spend entire weekends just decompressing. It was a reprieve, but not rest.
At some point I had to question: If I can dedicate 40+ hours a week to a job, entire days to commitments and errands, and spend 'X' amount of time filling a role for other people, then why couldn't I prioritize myself and my needs too?
At first Self-care was a‘reward’. I would assuage my guilt by telling myself ‘I earned this day/indulgence/ splurge’. But that raised the question: Am I only deserving of a reprieve if I have worked myself to exhaustion? Can I only do something for myself if I have taken care of everyone and everything else ahead of me?
I can’t be that Self-deprecating to believe that, right? Apparently, I can. Prioritizing my Self-care has brought to light some of the conflicting ideologies I held. Actively focusing on my Self has allowed me to grow in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. A side effect of this re-prioritization is I have been removed from a number of situations that constricted me or were toxic to my development as a person.
Writing this now makes it seem like Self-care is as easy as turning on a light switch— it’s not. I AGONIZED over certain situations that were making me MISERABLE. The signs were clear as day for me to get the heck out of Dodge, yet I deliberated and stay way longer than I should have. I felt the world would crumble if I personally didn’t make it work… Eventually I gathered the gumption and made changes and much like Y2K …. the world didn’t end.
Sunday is also the day a week that I am consciously focused on me. I take stock of myself and replenish the areas that are running low, socially, spiritually, physically, emotionally, the list goes on and on. Self-care doesn't have to happen (only) on Sundays but I like alliteration. It can be on any day you choose. Some methods of Self-care require daily exercise. Having a dedicated day focused on myself helps me make sure that I don't slide back into old habits.
What do I do on Self-Care Sunday? Basically:
Weekend trip? See ya later! Spa day? Treat Yourself. Turn off my phone? Cool. Lounge around in pajamas and don't leave the house? Cue Bruno Mars!
I’m kidding… kind of. Yes on any given Sunday, I could be doing any of those things but it’s a very superficial description of Self-care Sunday. Self-care isn’t just actions, it’s a concept. Self-care is the maintenance of your physical, emotional and mental health. Doing what you have to do yo fill your metaphorical cup. If emotionally you're feeling drained, then it makes sense to turn off the phone and disconnect for a day. Not feeling well physically? It makes sense to go for a hike or get a massage. Dealing with some emotional upheaval? Go see a therapist or have lunch with a confidante.
Okay, okay. I haven't yet reached this level of Self-care...but the journey is real.
Until next time,