‘I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.’
I was stuck between a couple of quotes this week, both regarding the importance of self-care, and taking the time to actually look after yourself (kind of a topical one. If you want to know why they’ve become important to me, then read what my very exciting life was like last week right here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/why-ive-been-mia.html )
And I eventually chose the above. My biggest goal for this week is to do at least one thing specifically for me each day. Not something I think should relax me, but that I will genuinely enjoy. I actually started yesterday, buying myself a bath bomb from lush that is meant to be amazing for sleep, and on Sunday evening ran myself a hot bath with said bath bomb. Simple, but effective. Usually, as I go to the gym on a Monday, Sunday is just a quick wash and then into bed (what’s the point in having a nice bath and relaxing when I could use it more on a Monday? That is how my mind works guys). No, I was going to wind down properly.
I went on a bit of a self-care spree on Sunday. Two lots of wages have arrived in my bank account since I began working, and although due to having to leave work early for a lecture one day, being off sick for two days, and having a few days booked off as well- meaning that my next pay packet won’t be too amazing- I decided I was going to treat myself. Yes, I could keep it for “a rainy day”, yes, I felt like I was frittering away the money- but what do I work for? That wage is meant to be about having a little extra to play with, other than subsidising my food bill (which as I’m trying to gain some weight in the form of muscle has obviously gone up). If I want a bath bomb, some fuzzy socks, new pyjama bottoms, and some nice new face stuff- then why shouldn’t I? If I want to try Booja-Booja’s chocolate ice cream, then I bloody well shall. Make no mistake: this isn’t everyday self care. This is me forcing myself in a big way to go Em, it is okay to treat yourself. It is okay to spend time on you. Call it a way of, hopefully, marking a change in my self-care habits. Which currently don’t exist. This week my self-care routine will be much simpler (and cheaper) than all of that. Just doing one thing for me each and every day, or making a couple of these regular habits…
Getting to bed early with a book one night
Stopping uni work the minute I walk into the flat one afternoon
Taking the time to sit with a tea or coffee and do some writing
Watching a film like Mean Girls or White Chicks
Eating my breakfast on the window sofa, and watching the world go by
Stopping doing work after the time I a lot myself (1 hour per module, per day)
Make porridge on the stove, instead of in the microwave, on the weekend
Although I love being around people (for the most part), and enjoy time with close friends, I am also a fairly introverted person. Yes, I’m outgoing and definitely not shy, but that doesn’t mean I’m extroverted. Being introverted simply means that to recharge, I need time alone, or just time to chill out. I would rather watch a movie than go our clubbing for example; for extroverts, they need to blow off steam to feel better. Part of the reason I became ill this past week was due to not taking care of myself. I couldn’t bare to let myself “slide”. I couldn’t take a day off, miss one gym session, one study group, or say ‘no’ when people needed help. I couldn’t do things that really relaxed me, for trying to do things I thought would benefit me. Because what we think will benefit us doesn’t always do so in the way we actually need. Look at the list above. How many of them are about calming my mind with meditation, or spending an hour getting rid of stress in the gym? Exactly. None. Although I love doing those things, and I try to do them as often as possible, or even every day, sometimes they aren’t what I truly need to take care of myself. Who knows, maybe this next week the best thing for me to do with regards to getting better would be to skip the gym, and do an hour of yoga in my flat- avoiding both running around to fit things in, and the germ infested weights room (we all know some people don’t wipe things down…).This week, right now if you can, make a list of self-care activities. Keep it in your diary, or on your phone, and do one a day. Choose some you can start doing every day. Because the quote I’ve picked is right: it is not self indulgent to think about the body you have to live in for the rest of your life, and to take care of the mind you have to think with every day.