22. Self Care

Hello, my favorite Divas!

How was your Memorial Day weekend? I had the opportunity to go and be with David’s side of the family to celebrate his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.  Such an amazing accomplishment.  It was so much fun to be with family, but talk about a 50-50 experience.  It was also a camping trip and turns out half the family got sick, throwing up and all the things and then all the accidents of scrapes, bumps, 2nd degree burns, and a 9 hour trip to the emergency room.  The campsite was right next to a bunch of huge mountainess, porous boulders and my little nephew slipped and hit his mouth on the rock in front of him, knocking out teeth and splitting his gums.  Luckily there was a plastic surgeon at the nearest hospital that day.  Otherwise they would’ve had to drive 3 hours further for him to be treated.  So, everyone’s on the mend, but I also got to help make and decorate a 3-tier mini-cake with covered in rosettes and had a great laugh at my husbands reaction when my dog started throwing up in the canyon.  So all the things, my friends!  Totally a 50-50 weekend.

So, I am in a countdown to the wedding and we are down to 1 ½ weeks.  With everything going on in preparing for the wedding and getting the basement finished, I’ve noticed that I’ve been ignoring an important part of living.  I’ll wake up and my to-do list starts swirling around in my heard and I think I need to get on those right away so I don’t have to think about it anymore and I jump ahead of my schedule to get it done.

I see on my schedule that I want to exercise, read my scriptures, shower and do my thought downloads to prepare my mind for the day ahead, but instead of doing that, I dive right into my other to-do’s. I’ll tell myself that I’ll do it all later after I’ve finished this one thing that’s nagging at me, but then I find something else that nags me before I’ve finished that and before I know it, the day’s over and later never comes.

I haven’t been taking the time to care for myself.  I’ve noticed that I’ve been a lot more relaxed in doing what helps me feel good and I’m feeling the difference.  What is self-care?  To me it’s to be mindful of yourself and your needs.  To care for your overall health mentally and physically. Self-care is anything that you do for you to help you feel more fulfilled.  It’s you taking care of you the same way you’d take care of the person you love the most.  When we neglect ourselves short-term, it comes with a long-term cost.

I’m pretty sure we all know the analogy of the oxygen mask on the airplane, but just in case:  When you’re sitting on the plane, getting ready for take-off, one of the flight attendant’s job is to go through the emergency procedures in case something happens.  They say that if the oxygen masks drop down, you must first put it on yourself before you can help anyone else, including your children. It’s important to tend to yourself first because, when in a panic mode, you aren’t paying close attention to your body and you’re riding on pure adrenaline. It’s easy to pass out because you’re not recognizing that your own oxygen level is in danger.  I imagine it’s quite difficult to help people when you’re lying on the floor passed out. However, if you take the few seconds to help yourself first, you are much more useful in the long run.

It’s the same with self-care.  I know that I feel better when I stick to my schedule of self-care first and my day goes better because I’m feeling better.  Right now, I’m in my own kind of survival mode trying to get it all done before the deadline and my brain thinks it better to not put the oxygen mask on first.  It thinks it’s better if I just help one other person first, or check off one other thing on my to-do list first, and then I’ll put my own mask on. But then I see this other person, or item on my to-do list, and they are so close, or it would be so easy to get that done real quick too.  And then another and another until I’ve metaphorically passed out and I’m no good to myself or anyone else.

Now, my oxygen mask is going to look different then yours, but what things are important to do for you?  What is it that you think isn’t allowing you to take care of yourself? Is it that you don’t have enough time, or that maybe you don’t think you’re worth the time? Maybe you’re worried about what others will think.  Maybe you think you don’t want to spend the money on yourself.  Like maybe there’s something you could be spending your money on that’s better than you?

Since my time has been more limited lately than usual, let’s start with time. What is worth it to you, that you’ll take the time to stop and do for you?

Now this is dating me, but I’m old enough to be in the generation when cassette tapes were how we listened to our favorite music.  It was that or the radio.  And there was no iTunes, no purchasing your favorite song from the album for $1.99.  You had to purchase the entire cassette.  And there was no play on repeat either.  If you wanted to hear your favorite song over and over, you took the time to wait for the song to rewind. And there were no time markers on the song so if you rewound it too far, you’d have to fast forward a little, stop, listen, fast forward a little, stop listen, oh no, went too far!  Rewind a little, ugh!  Too far the other way!  Ok, I’ll just listen to the last 5 seconds of this song so I can hear the beginning of my favorite song.  When CDs came out, what a thrill it was to get to press the “next track” button and go right to the beginning of the song again!

And a lot of times, you didn’t have the money to pay for each full album so you’d listen to the radio, hoping your favorite song came on.  And they had these blank cassette tapes you could buy so if you’re lucky enough to hear it on the radio maybe you could record it and then would be able to listen to it whenever you want!  Oh what a great day that was!  So if you were really determined to get it at the beginning of the song, as each song was ending, you’d run over to your cassette player, put your fingers on the play and record buttons and wait and wait and hope that the next song was the one you were looking for.  And you needed to press both the play and record button at once or it wouldn’t record.  If you accidentally pressed play faster then the record, then the record wouldn’t go down with it and ugh!  You missed the beginning.  And if it wasn’t your favorite song, you’d be a little disappointed, but go back to what you were doing until you heard that song winding down and you’d run over to the player and try your luck again.  We’d spend so much time trying to get our favorite song recorded. 

But all that time I’d spend to get my favorite song and what an awesome day it was when I got it!  I’d spend that time because I knew that listening to that song brought me happiness.  I probably didn’t know it, or even think about it at the time, but that was a part of self-care.  I did something that was just for me that would bring happiness to my day and increase my overall well-being. Taking time to take care of you is never a waste of time.  You are worth the time.

Listening to our favorite song seems so little, but it’s a big part of caring for ourselves.  What could you take time doing for you? 

Or maybe for you it’s not a time issue, but you’re afraid of what others will think of the self-care you take.  I love watching little kids.  Their filters for saying things and doing things are not formed yet so they just play, play, play and don’t really think about others.  Like how my mom would tell me that when I was little, I’d dance around the house singing the color of the carpet and the couches and I’d sing whatever I was seeing from my little person perspective.  I didn’t care if I looked silly or what others might think of me, I did it and it brought me joy.

Do you remember when you were a kid?  I bet you loved to play!  Everything was a game and in the name of having fun.  When my kids were little, I can remember getting so upset with them because they couldn’t stop playing for 5 seconds to come in and go to the bathroom and they’d wet their pants.  But to them, the thought taking 5 seconds to stop doing what they loved was too much!  They’d rather play with wet pants then stop what they were doing.

I am giving you permission right now to not care what others think of you in the name of having fun. It could be as simple as trying to make what you’re already doing more fun.  Scientists are actually finding that putting fun into what you’re doing, actually increases the likelihood that you’ll complete it and complete it better

When we grow up, everything becomes so serious and we forget how much fun it was to play.  We’re more worried about money and health and family and goals and it just becomes so heavy to start adulting. So we have to be so much more conscious of putting fun back into it, but when we take time to play, we are much more effective in accomplishing what we want in life.  Marriages are a lot healthier when we are having fun.  Goals are much easier to accomplish if we can find a way to make it fun. Our lives feel a lot richer because we’re loving what we’re doing.

For example,  I’m trying to get the basement finished for my soon-to-be married daughter. Currently I’m painting all the baseboards and trim.  This is 2,800 sf of painting long, skinny boards, one at a time, my friends.  My husband built a paint booth in our garage so I could spray them, but with the allotted space, there’s only so many boards that I can do at a time.  So, how can I make this fun instead of tedious?  Can I give myself some kind of incentive to make it more fun?  For me, I love efficiency. So I challenged myself to figure out how to get as many boards painted at a time.  Then I pulled in my garage heater to speed up the drying process and now I’m down to timing how fast they can dry and what can I get done in between the drying times.  So I’m essentially trying to turn this into a game to see how efficient I can be and how much I can get done while waiting for dry time.  I don’t know.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like fun to you, but for me, I’m racing to finish other things to beat my time and I love challenging myself. 

And I’m sharing this with you, knowing that some of you may think I’m silly or ridiculous.  And that’s okay  because I’m controlling the one thing I have control over, which is my life experience. Growing up, I spent way too much time caring about what others thought of me and that’s what guided my actions and decisions most times.  So am I silly and ridiculous?  Sometimes, and that’s okay. Life is so much better when we can find joy out of it and have as much fun as we can with it.

Find ways that work for you to make tedious, mundane things fun. Can you do it listening to your favorite music?  Or maybe there’s a podcast you love to listen to or a book on audible that you’ve wanted to listen to.  Only you know what’s fun for you, but I promise, if you can try and make the serious things a little more fun, they won’t feel as heavy and you’ll get better results in the end.

Maybe you don’t think you have the money to take care of yourself.  This is an interesting one.  What I know is no matter what money you have, there are things you can do to take care of yourself.  You don’t have to spend any money or you can spend lots.   If money’s tighter, there’s so many free things you can do to take care.  Do you feel better after taking a walk?  Or maybe you have a hot tub, or a friend with a hot tub, or a bath that you can soak in. Is it doing yoga or taking five minutes for deep breathing?  Maybe it’s watching your favorite funny sitcom or hugging your kids a little longer.  Do you love reading books or looking at magazines? What about sitting on your front porch or lawn and enjoying the world around you. You can pamper yourself in little ways like with a peel off face mask or even choosing higher sunscreen to keep your skin looking younger, longer. Putting on a fun color of nail polish or going to the park and swinging on the swings.  Have a fun staycation and watch an entire day of movies that you love.  I’m going to guess you could probably google easy or free self-care and someone’s already came up with lots of ideas for you to try.

If you are okay with spending a little extra money, what about getting a weekly massage or a monthly facial.  Maybe choose an organic line of skin care that’s a little more expensive, but isn’t putting extra toxins in your body.  Going on more vacations or to a nicer restaurant than you’re used to. Or paying more for a delicious water that costs more.  Maybe pay someone else to mow your lawn or do your housework and spend that time reading a good book or watching your favorite channel.

What I know for sure is that you are worth the money you spend.  Actually, you are worth more than the money you spend because you are priceless.

What other things can you do to take care of yourself?  In what ways can you be mindful of yourself and your needs?  Your physical and mental health are important.  Your oxygen mask needs to be used. How would you take care of someone else?  I’m encouraging you to take care of yourself the same.  I’m going to be more mindful of it and I hope you do the same.

That’s what I have for you today.

Have a terrific week, my brilliant divas!


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