What does self care look like to you?
I used to think that to take time for myself, and only myself was a selfish and non christian thing to do. I was raised to care for others and think about others before I thought about myself. In my Christian walk, I always felt that I had to think about others and do for others as I would want them to do for me. Even in adultery, I was told to forgive as Jesus had forgiven me. I don’t recall that it was alright to grieve or to mistrust but to forgive and forget, least I be judged.
In the years of healing that begun before separation and divorce, I learnt a lot of things about myself. One was that I was not crazy nor insane as I had thought. My first healing week at a trauma camp was my last ditch effort in surviving this thing called life. The other thing I learnt was to feel and to listen to myself and that small, quiet inner child voice inside.
I learnt to care for myself and realize that when I did care for myself, I was able to care for myself, my children and others much more lovingly.
So, what does self care look like for me?
1. A long, hot shower when the kids are at school so I can totally relax and enjoy it. Usually this also includes washing my hair, shaving my legs and going slow.
2. Going for a walk, either by myself or with the dog.
3. doing a craft such as sewing, knitting, crochet, tapestry, cross stitch or scrap-booking. Yes, I have a stash for all of these crafts. I generally only buy when on special and clearance, especially fabric as I like to sew for charity.
4. Reading a book. Although that usually comes with me wanting to sleep. An association I haven’t kicked, so reading is usually at night.
5. With modern technology comes some advantages, such as Facebook. I can spend countless hours here and this can be a total waste of time or it can be a time to chat to friends and gather information or support causes by signing petitions for causes I believe in. Sometimes it can be a destructive place where people tear you to shreds, defame you and blame you for all their problems, even when you have sacrificed much for them or expressed your personal opinion and someone has taken offence.
6. This year has seen me introduce hydrotherapy into my self care regime. I have not done so for a few months now as I had been unwell and got out of routine and getting back was too hard. I also went on holidays and that has deferred my return. Next week, I plan to return. I love the warmth of the pool. I am confident in most of the exercises the physiotherapist has given me. I want to add aqua aerobics and aqua tai chi to my pool visits.
7. Reducing toxins in my household by introducing pure essential oils and using them for health care, mental health care, perfume and aromatherapy. I have always had sensitive skin and instant headache reactions to perfume, candle and incense shops. With essential oils, I can clean my home and look after our health needs too.
8. Education. I love to learn and especially to go to class. I have almost completed my Certificate IV in Community Services and also almost completed my Diploma of Community Services in Case Management. Health issues halted my finishing. My plan is to return to Tafe next year. As my boys get older and independant, my carers pension will be replaced by Newstart, I imagine. With this in mind, I need to complete my training and work experience and secure employment. I am also doing a course on Blogging and using this WordPress Site. And I also have an aromatherapy course in the pipeline, along with naturopath, mindful nutrition and herbalist. I think these all compliment each other and will fulfill my curiosity at how to include these natural approaches to life and health in my everyday life with the knowledge and understanding of Why? Why do I feel these areas are important to health and well-being. I hope to learn some of the science behind it all to compliment my why answer of feeling better for the changes.
I also doubt my ability to be a carer, teacher, educator or worker and look to education to help this void. This realization has come about as I type and will need further investigation to the beliefs I hold about myself, who I am and who I am capable of being and how this came to be!
The way you choose to self care is totally up to you! There are so many ways to look after you! They don’t have to cost money either. Be creative and try something new. Surprisingly, I love going to hydrotherapy. I hate exercise and the gym but finding this heated pool with physiotherapy assistance has been the best thing I have done for myself, along with changing the chemical load in our immediate environment.
Remember, self care does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to be time consuming. But it does have to be about you. You are worth it and you deserve it and you will thank yourself for taking time to care for you. And your family, if you are caring for one, will be eternally grateful that you are renewed and refreshed and have shown them that it is OK, it is more than Ok, to take care of yourself so to can better take care of others.
Take time out and renew you!
Love and Blessings, Kat xx