It’s Friday again and I haven’t really decided what I’m doing for myself today. I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care though. What does it really mean and why is it important. Our mothers didn’t need it, right?
I grew up in a generation that didn’t know about self-care. Our mothers didn’t model it. In fact, exactly the opposite. It was the hyper-indulgent 80s and everyone bragged about not sleeping and how go-go-go their weekends were. Martha Stewart was teaching women that they weren’t enough if they couldn’t re-grout their bathrooms, while baking a souffle and hosting 25 for a mid-week dinner.
Even as a high school kid I pulled all-nighters and swilled black coffee at all hours. We didn’t know about lattes yet.
So now 30 years later the buzz word is self-care and it’s still a little foreign to me. When I teach yoga I believe one of my jobs is to hold space for people’s pain and exhaustion, confusion and worry. I like to nurture and pamper my students. I tell them it’s okay to have their feelings, no matter what they are. I bring lotion and massage their necks. I’m a care-giver who loves to give.
Ask me about what I need, though and that’s a different story. I have so much lovingkindness and compassion towards my students, especially when they struggle in a difficult pose or release into a gentle stretch. I can not extend that same compassion towards myself.
Well, at least it takes a lot more for me to get there. I have to really be hurting, deeply struggling for me to ease up on myself. And so has been the case for the past few weeks. Really hard stuff has made me soften towards myself. A little.
With this softer attitude towards myself I’ve been tossing around the concept of self-care. What is it and why is it so important. Why do I struggle with it? Even when I’m the A+ self-care student I feel guilty. I actually feel less guilty when I eat junk food or drink too much.
Now, how crazy is that? I can partake in damaging foods and arguably self-destructive behaviors and I feel like I deserve it, Cholesterol laden, fat filled potato chips make me feel like I’ve treated myself, but a massage makes me feel guilt-ridden.
How often have you thought to yourself I’m just going to slow down and take care of myself and get out the ice cream, a spoon, a chick-flick and a bottle of wine and then you park yourself on the couch for the weekend. Now, by itself there’s nothing wrong with this behavior once in awhile. But why is this our go-to? Why when I’m hurting and suffering from loss do I not think I’m going to take a long walk and drink some tea, get a massage and then call my best friend?
So, I’m working on thinking of self-care as the new Pinot Grigio. I ask you to join me. Share your #selfcarefridays either here in the comments or on FB or IG. And I will share mine.
Today, ask yourself what can I do for myself that will help me relax/rejuvenate/refresh/reset/renew/release…be the best me?
While i was planning my travel to Lawrence nest week I couldn’t stop thinking about how we beat ourselves up. I think those of us who do it the most are those that need it the least. So, I decided rather than teach two workshops Yoga for Depression and Yoga for Anxiety I would offer one Free Intro to Yoga for Anxiety and Depression session and one full Yoga for Anxiety and Depression Workshop. Please join me at Om Tree Shala on 5/23, 12p for some FREE yoga and great tips how to care for yourself. While the workshop is geared for those suffering from anxiety and depression the information and practice is practical, helpful and wonderful for everyone! See you there. Check out details at A Yogi Kitchen