Love/Hate: Self Care

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How do you do self-care? Have you ever given it much thought or priority? Is self-care even on your list of things ‘to do’?

I’d be a hypocrite if I said I was an ace at this stuff.

This week I’ve been reflecting on self-care because it’s had to be my main focus. I came down with the flu and it knocked me on my ass so, really I’ve been held hostage by my body in a very physical way. (As opposed to the usual anxiety I spear tackle on a daily basis.)

The week leading up to the onslaught of gross, I had two kids home from school with goobers. The week before it was the other one home for the whole week as well. That’s two weeks of full sickie-faces. That’s two weeks at home with sick, whining, snotty, tv-binge watching, snuggling, sad-sack little people. With little opportunity made by me to leave the house and have my own adult time. To have an adult conversation with someone else, not my husband. To just breathe away from the point of frustration (and love.)

I noticed a few things during this time:

Knowingly not taking the time for self-care makes it a miserable place to be if I am literally left pick up house-duties all the time. In the last month, I made a decision to leave employment to focus on family & business & me. Trying to negotiate and balance these three priorities has been just that: trying. Being back at home has made me happy, and confused but that’s a blog of a different colour. 

It’s easy to focus on what’s not getting done when the household seems like a place where only I am are moving to get things done. It’s easy to pass the blame and get angry about the nuances of managing a routine and to become overwhelmed with the task at hand. 

and then: 

When I get knocked for six and have to also completely stop, the realisation of my own wasted time seeps in. So I hope that I’ll do better at not taking for granted what I have the ability to achieve when I’m not under the weather. 

Being in the station of ‘sit still’ is not a good place for me but I have learned to surrender to it. It’s hard to give in and watch other areas of my life pile up- like literally the dishes in my kitchen or hell laundry- because my entire house is flu-ridden. However, the benefit is that the downtime is usually minimal. Whereas past me would have fought so hard I’d be sick for weeks and sometimes longer.

One of my biggest achievements in self-care this year has been a work in progress and relapse for years…. In March I quit smoking! Huzzah! So maybe that is helping the recovery process of this bout of the sick even just a bit (probably a lot).

I don’t think we should be leaving self-care to when our bodies force us to make it a priority. Something I am extremely guilty of. Self-care ought to be autonomous and guilt-free.


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