take care

self care.

 

i don’t know why in my mind self care has a negative connotation. maybe because i associate it with other self words like self pity, self-centered and selfish.

when i went into the rape crisis center the woman there cheerfully chirped, “take care of yourself. have a bubble bath… get a pedicure!” and i wanted to hit her. hard. in the face. with a chair. (to be fair i’m sure she said more than that but i don’t remember.) i was scared and angry and my brain latched on to what seemed the most ludicrous statement and i vowed to never get a pedicure or take a bubble bath again. after the miscarriage i was told basically the same thing. “just relax. try taking a bubble bath.”  by that point my head was in such an awful, messed up place that the last thing i wanted was anything to do with myself. i wanted away from my self, out of my body, far away from this life.

the other day when i was at a very low point i shared some of the feelings i had about myself… and they weren’t the great. it was pointed out that if i said the things i say to myself to another person i’d be a bully and a kind of a jerk. ugh.

i feel like i see and hear the term self care all over the place lately. i’m working on finding the balance between self pity and self care.

“Self care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.”

i guess what i’m finally realizing is that i am still here. that life is stubborn. it goes on. it’s going to go on. it goes on whether i’m curled up on my bed hiding out or trying to put the pieces of my life back together and keeping enjoying life. if it’s going on go on it may as well be enjoyable. it’s worth trying, right?

things to start:

buy myself fresh flowers
prepare little meals, even if it’s just for me
wear a bright lipstick
keep my desk tidy so it’s a place i want to be
download some new music turn it up
be diligent with my personal prayer and scripture study
spend time with friends
use exercise to work out some of the nervous tension
get my eyebrows done every once and awhile
stop using the word fine – good or bad, be authentic
start a photo challenge: nature/self portrait/ whatever
go to the temple
take deep breaths

things to change:

take my prescriptions without calling myself weak
cry when i need to without calling myself a baby
say no when i’m overwhelmed without calling myself selfish
reach out when i need to without calling myself pathetic
search for a new job without calling myself a loser
spend time with people i love without questioning my worth
forgive myself when i slip without beating myself up

“Therefore, though ours is a time of conflict, quietly caring for the ‘life of the soul’ is still what matters most.” – Neal A Maxwell
 
what are some ways you care for yourself? how do you fight back against your own inner bully?
beautiful image by olga bennett
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One thought on “take care

  1. Ack! Just wrote a comment but it didn't go through. I have struggled with the self care and differentiating it between the extremes of narcissism and pity. Working on self care so I can be better at helping others! So tough to get that balance but I think self care comes first. Also I think you are a brave and beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing your life and story. Big hug.

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