Self-Care: What Does It Say About Your Self Image
It's the first day of the week after visiting my mother and family in England. I was there for that unexpected event when Queen Elizabeth II died at the good age of 96 and ushered in a new era in British history, and everything slowed to take it in.
As with most vacations returning home presents many opportunities for anxiety and overwhelm as we struggle to catch up on what was paused and get back into our normal rhythm.
But ‘normal rhythm’ may be the last thing we need.
Usually, Sundays are reserved for meandering, pondering, and pottering about. But the
accumulation of mail - some important, mostly not - and the evidence of a whirlwind preparing to leave are clamoring for attention.
I haven’t yet addressed or purged my emails - not that I routinely do - 10,000 are still waiting, though a significant improvement from the 46,000 earlier this year!
My landscaper came to finish laying the creek rock in the little stream we created just in front of the Hermitage shed.
Charly, the recently evicted resident groundhog, made his way back during my absence and must be overjoyed to see this new addition to the homestead right at his front doorstep.
He made the point that I’m not the only one that likes it here, and he’s not interested in new digs by digging yet another tunnel under my freshly laid gravel on the back patio. In addition, I had to deal with the first-floor toilet flooding into the newly remodeled basement and the mound of shiny moving things that showed up in the freshly transformed garage.
It seems that Termites like it here too.
When it came time to pay Ramiro for two months of service, I scrambled to find my checkbook while he marveled at the spaciousness of the once-packed to the gills garage.
My back office is overflowing with papers. Papers to be filed, shredded, cataloged, and used for writing, and some to be burned, along with the memory of what they represent.
Seeing my frustration, he kindly offered to come back another day.
Tackling money matters and loose ends is usually a Monday activity. Still, the sight of this disorder was gnawing at me. Earlier I had wrapped up a meeting with my assistant about the week ahead and the importance of self-care, specifically, redefining self-care.
Most women, we agreed, consider self-care a reward that may involve a soak in a bubble bath, a massage, manicure, or facial, or maybe a shopping spree or lunch with friends. All gratifying things.
But where did we get the idea that self-care is a reward that comes after all the other things on our never-ending To Do lists are checked off and we’ve done something to earn or deserve it?
This question got me thinking about what our self-care reveals about our self-image.
So much emphasis is on the external earned reward, while our inner landscape is often parched and crying for attention.
Pampering is nice, but it doesn't produce sustainable fruit.
I asked myself, “What would you need to stop tolerating to give yourself what you deserve and need the most right now?”
The right now part is essential because self-care is what you owe to yourself every single day and to God.
For me, that means putting things in order and in their proper place of priority, which clears the way for me to make gains in the quality of my life now: my energy, sleep, mindset, vitality, and motivation.
I need all these things to be optimal to do the work I have to do. So do you.
This week I’ve gained heightened awareness about myself through the simple practice of prayer and declaration, and God spontaneously answered them with a test.
“Just how serious are you?” He asks.
Often your biggest messes are the low-hanging fruit to deal with something you’ve been avoiding, which is stealing your peace and joy.
Repurposing those messes depends on how committed you are to doing life differently, not what you feel like, but what must be done.
So, now it's your turn, “What would you need to stop tolerating to give yourself what you deserve and need most right now?”
I’m changing my daily schedule and definition of self-care to do what I must do to maintain order and vitality in my inner and outer world and create a rhythm of life that empowers me to thrive.
Why not join me in the 30-Day Body Budget Challenge? It is a great way to dive deep into your self-care and to acknowledge where your rhythm in life is off and what needs attention. Drop your contact information here to learn more.
The practice of self-care is a daily choice, not a reward.