I have always loved the words “take care of you for me and I’ll take care of me for you.” This is a principle that I had to learn over time. I am a pleaser and often would do things for friends or family to my detriment.In my current life with my current wisdom, I have learned if I don’t take care of myself, I can be extremely crabby. I have always worked on my feet for many hours of the day. This was the case when I worked in retail, banking, and non-profit work. Every evening, I offer my husband the opportunity of rubbing my feet for at least twenty to thirty minutes. I share with him repeatedly that this effort on his part has contributed to my sanity over the years.
One of my favorite pass-times is snuggling. I enjoy snuggling with our dog in the morning and my husband in the evening, and as we sleep. This closeness gives me a sense of value and self-worth. I believe he considers it self-care for himself as well so it’s a win/win.
When I get home from work at night, I take a few minutes to sit down and unwind. We use this time to catch up on the day and to share any ideas or problems we need to consider. Now, don’t laugh. We are later eaters, so when I get home, I treat myself to a small bowl of Raisin Bran. It keeps me from raiding the cupboard and snacking. It also allows me to be satisfied to eat dinner a bit later and not be ravenous.
Another part of my self-care is to spend one night each week with my Sidetracked Sisters. We go out to dinner and discuss our Sidetracked business. Next, we write together on the week’s topic. Then we read our writings aloud and receive constructive criticism. There is always silliness, lots of laughter, great sharing, and the warmth of being together. Every week, I look forward to this time with these three beautiful people (plus me!)
Many evenings, our son gives us a call. I frequently take time to talk with him to discuss areas of concern and to share his good times and ours.
Daily, I make sure to take time to look my best. Even if I’ve got the day off, I find it nurturing to take the time to shower and do my face and hair. Part of my daily self-care is to do all the normal things like taking care of my skin, teeth, and body. I also make sure that the house is picked up and orderly.
Now that I have gone back to work, I don’t have extra time during the day to work on projects and maintenance. I try to plan one thing to commit some time to each evening. Weekend time is precious, and we try to combine fun and work. If we have a chance to go to my family cottage in Door County, that choice almost always comes first. Being at the cottage is self-care with a capital S. Sitting by the water, going for walks, sharing meals, reading a favorite book, sleeping in, and just being with family is the best way to treat ourselves.
I love living the words, “take care of you for me, and I’ll take care of me for you”. If we all took the time to take care of ourselves first, the world would be a much healthier place.