I’m not typically the type of person to say I “rocked” something - especially when it comes to self care. But honestly, this week I’ve done a bang-up job of taking care of myself. This is not easy to do. Why?
The assumed answer might be, “I’m a mom," but, I struggled with self care before we adopted. My cancer survivor mentality can put me on overdrive; I’m still learning my limits and boundaries. Yet, there’s more.
I’ve interpreted years of biblical teaching the wrong way and I am still getting it straightened out - humble and selfless doesn’t mean you cannot care about yourself. Plus, I’m an enneagram 1w2. (Which basically means I won’t stop until everyone else is OK.)
What I Did for Self Care
I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth the past few years, due to steady streams of self care. What did I do this week? Here’s a glimpse:
I went to a writer’s conference.
In Kansas City, the Heart of America Christian Writers Network (HACWN) hosts an annual conference. Editors, agents and other professional writers pour into those of us aspiring to see our words get published. I learned how to build a platform as a writer, the proper way to do a book proposal, tips for using email as a writer and how to jump start creative thinking. I left excited, inspired and empowered. Winning!
I got my nails done.
This is an obvious self care example that finds its way into many “how to” lists, but it works for me. Soaking my toes in bubbly, hot water and feeling my nails get freshly painted is relaxing, fun and fulfilling.
I finished New Moon in the Twilight Series.
The Twilight books were on my summer reading list, and this week I finished the second 500-page novel. (I know - where have I been?) Falling into a fiction book is doing my mind and heart a lot of good. I cannot wait for Book #3!
I Kept Up the 17-Day Diet (mostly)
At the end of August, Mike and I cleaned up our eating and as a result, we’ve both lost a little weight and fit into our jeans again. Mike even found his chronic headaches went away. We’re nearing the end of the diet, but we’re still following it (mostly - I am sneaking in a few fall baking recipes). I’m amazed at how eating healthier is improving many areas of my life.
I told you I rocked something.
A big part of self care is identifying who you are and what you need. It’s growing in confidence. And I’m doing just that. I’m learning when I take time to know my limits, I actually get stronger. When I set boundaries, I can do more. It’s this fascinating, amazing thing!
Self Care Tips
If you’re like me and you struggle with self care, have hope! I’m not a master, but I am learning. If you’re new to this, here’s a few initial tips that helped me:
Invest in yourself.
Spend money (it doesn’t need to be a lot) on something that will help you. A $1 journal from Target will work. I treat myself to Starbucks sometimes! If you have a little extra cash, buy a new pair of shoes, or get a manicure or some new makeup. Get your haircut. Invest in something that makes you feel worthy, accepted, loved and excited. And for the ladies especially - beautiful.
To love your neighbor, you must love yourself.
I know mankind is sinful, but mankind can also be restored. My faith in God means I live and thrive in this hope - where it’s OK to love myself because God loves me. To reach this mindset, it took self care.
Identify your inner critic.
I mentioned I’m an enneagram 1, which means I’m basically BFFs with a little voice inside of my head that tells me I’m not perfect, I can’t do it, and I should quit while I’m ahead. Anyone else? She brings me doubt, fear and anxiety. She tells me to skip self care. But the quicker I identify her, the quicker I can silence her.
You won’t always feel like engaging in self care. You won't want to eat healthier, go to the gym or drive to the nail salon. But do it anyway. Force yourself to care for yourself. Fight your inner resistance and tap into the weaker impulse whispering to your soul. You’re worth it. You need this.
Trust me - you won’t regret it.