I started a new job six weeks ago. An amazing job. A dream job. An exciting job.
And in classic CeCe fashion, I’ve given it everything and more: 10 hour days, nights in front of the tv, weekends. I truly do love it and am enjoying the many ways I get to help others through this job.
Yet no matter how much I love it, it still wears me out…every day.
So last week when my co-leader caught me rubbing my eyes just after lunch, he started a campaign to send me home early, take some time off. Even if I hadn’t been working long days, I’d certainly accomplished well more than expected in a short time and had earned some extra self-care time.
So I left at noon on Friday only to realize I had absolutely no plan for self care. And it didn’t take me long to remember that when that question came up in my interviews, my co-leader had noticed…and noted…that I didn’t have a good answer for what I do for fun (self care).
So I gave myself permission to treat myself to some things I used to do regularly, a long time ago, that had somehow fallen off of my schedule:
- massage – for the gift of touch, of meditation, of being present and focusing on the real needs of my physical body, of my acceptance that I can’t will away the tired when my body really needs rest
- my favorite coffee – for the uniqueness, the spice, the warmth, the moment of earthiness with the first sip
- my favorite handmade soap/shampoo/lotion store – for the indulgence, the expense, the luxury, and the promise of a bath rarely prepared
- my favorite clothing store – for the self-expression through clothes that I’ve discovered only with age and acceptance of my body and my inner weird
- my favorite rock – for the gift of stability, a place to sit, the elevation above the ground so I can see farther and more clearly whatever I’m looking at
- my favorite church – for the blessing of my God, the comfort of a familiar place to worship, the words of prayer and absolution, the message I need to hear whether I like it or not, the safe place to cry it out in frustration, pleading, or thanksgiving
- cooking – for myself to make intentional choices about how I feed my body and mind, for others to care for them
- blogging – for sharing how my brain works things out, not always problems – more things that intrigue me, challenge me, seem important even when I don’t yet know why
Things I didn’t do that might also become part of my self care:
- read a book or listen to a podcast – a devotion, a memoir, I think of this as something soul-feeding rather than mind-feeding, though certainly I’m happy for it to do both
- hike a trail or waterfall – the mountains call to me, so that’s where I instinctively head for quiet time; and I wasn’t in the mountains this weekend
- paddle a dragon boat on the lake (coming in spring)
- meditate – something I’m trying out with a group starting 1/14
I have so many questions about what and how, all because I got out of the habit:
- What do you do for self care that I might add to my try it out list?
- What are you looking to achieve with self care?
- What hasn’t worked for you, and why do you think it didn’t work?
I’d love to read what your self-care experiences have been.