Beth

Self Care is not Selfish Part Two

Remember about a month ago when I wrote about how self-care is not selfish? I have recently forgotten to take my own advice on that front. February was kind of up and down, especially having a two week long nasty cold. But after the cold was gone and my head was clear I was still so cranky and down and I couldn’t figure out why. I even found myself resisting my kindness challenge a little bit. I guess some of it was a little PMS (TMI, sorry) but over all I just was blah. And then I figured it out.

I am not taking care of ME. I’m taking care of everything and everyone around me, and I am not taking care of me.  No wonder I’ve been in a yucky place!

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First thing I did was gave myself permission to put aside my book for book club this month. It was a heavy, tough read and it is important subject, about how women in other countries who were in prostitution and sex trafficking rings were helped and got out of those situations and rose up. I think I’d be ok reading this at another time, but right now I just couldn’t do it. I felt extremely guilty about it at first, if I want to change the world I shouldn’t turn away from the tough stuff right? Then another member of my book club came out and said she wouldn’t be reading it and a few others voiced similar thoughts so I felt a little better stepping away from it. Instead I finished Lauren Graham’s book (which I just posted a review of the other day) and for the first time in months gave myself permission to read a complete fluff fiction book. Ollie actually selected it for me! He pulled it off the shelf at the library and when I saw it is about four friends who take a reunion trip to Jamaica (Jamaica, how I heart thee!) I had to read it. It feels good and I’m really enjoying the release. I’m about halfway through and I will definitely share more about it when I’m finished.

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Second thing I realized is that I can’t do it all. I want to do all the things to make the world a better place, but it’s ok to admit that I can’t do everything. It’s ok to skip a protest or a talk or an event in favor of spending time with my family.  It’s exhausting keeping up with everything and I’m not throwing in the towel or saying I’m not still resisting or fighting back, but I’m going to give myself permission to do it on the timetable that works for me. It’s also ok to be invested in things like Beyonce’s twins or how (spoiler alert!) Jack died on This Is Us or March Madness or the hilarious video of the BBC reporter getting interrupted by his kids or even that freaking giraffe who I think still hasn’t had her dang baby. Yes I keep my finger on the pulse of the National and World news and events, but it helps to balance with the fun stuff too. There is nothing wrong with that.

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Third thing is it’s OK to take baby steps. I want to do more ethical shopping. Ethical shopping is not necessarily the cheap option. I want to shop more locally for food and groceries, but I need to be able to affordably feed my family. We’ve tried our local Co-Op for a few shopping trips now and I don’t think we can switch over there permanently. We can do as much as we can, we can shop farmer’s markets this summer and local meat markets, but sometimes we’re going to need to go Target or Cub. And as for other things, I can’t expect to change it all overnight. Getting back to thrifting has been huge. I can keep working at looking for more local or ethically made items. I can’t expect my entire closet to shift over immediately. And I just don’t think I’m ever going to quit Target, it’s kind of my happy place (and it’s become Ollie’s too….)

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And finally, fourth thing, I decided to take a day off on Friday just because. No plans, no reason. I have wellness hours at work to use, I was sicker than a dog with the sinus crud on the last work holiday, so I figured, I deserve a day off when I’m not sick, Ollie’s not sick and I can just take the day as it comes. And it’s St. Patrick’s Day so I can Irish it up, hahaha!

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So, what’s the lesson here? Basically I just had to take a step back and remember the things that I need to do to help my own happiness and well being. And I know, this is all stuff I preached about in my last self care post so you’re probably going, ok, how are you going to not fall away on this again? Well, I am going to try to do a weekly check in with myself and also a monthly self care post on the blog. Similar to how I’m writing down one kind thing a day in Lent, I’m going to try to write down one thing I did for self care each day as well.

My cup already feels full again. I’ll do my best to keep it that way so I don’t have to keep looking for a refill. And on we go!

15 thoughts on “Self Care is not Selfish Part Two”

  1. This is so true! It’s always important to remember to help fill up your “me cup” and make yourself happy in the end. Once you are happy and content that will flow to everyone else then too!

  2. Sometimes you really just have to take a step back and realize that there is just so much you can do. And you know what? There’s no shame in picking up some fluff chick lit now and then, or taking a wellness day, or doing things that help YOU operate on a full battery. I’m a firm believer that self care helps us so much along the way–how can we expect to be our best selves for others if we aren’t taking care of our own needs?

    Thanks for sharing this (PS: that Jamaica book sounds wonderful–have just added to my list!)
    Charlotte recently posted…I was kicked out of a blog group on Facebook (and an announcement!)My Profile

  3. Love this! I think a wellness day is definitely in order for you. You’re completely right that we can’t do everything, and it’s OK. February also left me feeling pretty overwhelmed, so I’ve been trying to take it easier too. Today, I decided to stay in my pajamas all day. I’m still working, but I’m not going to feel guilty about it. ps. Target is my happy place too.

  4. I love this! It’s important to take care of ourselves, and not only that, but to enjoy and revel in this. We deserve to make self care a priority! (*As a mom, I always think how important this is to model for my kids, too!)

  5. Love this! I recently wrote about self-care too. It’s so important, but I neglect it often. I’m slowly trying to develop better habits even if it’s just something little here and there.

  6. I applaud this post. I agree with you with pretty much every point. Self-care is important to our own happiness and health…but yet, it’s something I forget about as well. Balance in life is hugely important to me (hugely…that’s a word, right?), and finding a personal balance is even more important. What works for me may not work for someone else. We are all different, and I know I sound like a cliché when I say this, but there is beauty in our differences. Again, I applaud your journey to find balance and administer self-care that works for you!
    First time here…visiting from The Peaceful Posse…and I can tell we’re going to be friends 🙂
    texerinsydney recently posted…I show you my books, you show me yours… vol.26My Profile

    1. I say hugely all the time, I think it’s a word! And it’s not too cliche to say there is beauty in our differences! If everyone was the same the world would be a super boring place! I am so happy to “meet” you and I look forward to getting to know you more! 🙂

  7. Oh I loved this post – I’m so happy to read new blogs and I also need a “me party”. I also feel like this week especially I haven’t spent any time working on myself. All my errands and appointments are for those I love but I’m missing something that makes me happy! I also love Target – it’s my guilty pleasure – thanks for this reminder!!

  8. Yes, self care is so important! Along with working out the things that are OK to let go of for a little while. I love how you make the point about caring about homeless citizens and refugee’s at the same time… I wish sometimes people would realise it doesn’t have to be “one or the other”.

  9. One phrase caught my attention: “If I want to change the world”. The world is big. Huge. And there are billions of people. We have to trust that when we go to bed, someone in Australia gets up and tries to change the world. And when we are exhausted, we have to trust that someone else is on fire. We still have to do our share, but we don’t have to do everything on our own.
    Cara recently posted…Spring CleaningMy Profile

  10. I am so glad that you decided to stop and take better care of yourself! I think I needed to read this too. I do feel like I take little moments for myself every day, but I’m also guilty of putting everything and everyone else first. Both of my kiddos have been sick this past week, and I tried to take a day off work, but because I work from home on Thursdays and Fridays, it didn’t end up happening. Reading what you said about taking a day off JUST BECAUSE sounds heavenly and I think I’m going to do that soon! Thanks for the reminder.
    Shea recently posted…Interview with a 3-Year-OldMy Profile

  11. Proud of you for taking the initiative to realize what you needed and to do it! I was feeling the same kind of way and took two vacation days last week and it made such a difference. And have you ever read Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist? I’ve had it from the library for awhile and finally diving into it, and it’s pretty good so far in my opinion. It’s been a really easy read and been several parts I find myself nodding my head along to, and thought you might too!
    Jess recently posted…Counting the Wins and LossesMy Profile

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