Self-Care isn't an indulgence
Once upon a time, if someone said "self-care", I envisioned bubble baths and chocolate, a massage, or a coffee-break at Starbucks all alone in blessed quiet as I licked the foam off the top of my cinnamon dolce latte.
However. I have come to realize that self-care isn't just decadence. It isn't always hiding in the bathroom with earbuds to relaxing music while the kids wrestle in the living room.
I realized the other day that I have forgotten to go in for my yearly female exam two years in a row. That's no bueno. I was also supposed to go in when I was forty, and get a baseline mammogram. I pushed it aside, and didn't do it, and now, I'm forty-three. Also no bueno.
I'm busy. So freaking busy. So I don't usually eat well. I'm rushing my daughter to this appointment or that, working toward a never-ending deadline, and I always think, as I grab take-out for dinner, that I'll do better tomorrow. I'll cook something healthy.
Guess what? Tomorrow turns into another tomorrow, then another, then another.
I've gained fifty pounds this past year. FIFTY. That's 5-0. It's because I haven't taken time for myself. I haven't made health a priority. I've let my physicals lapse, and the only time I go to the doctor is when they make me in order to refill a prescription. I haven't gone to the eye doctor, even though I know words are getting blurry to me now. My left eye has twitched for six days-- you know why? Because I'm sure that sucker needs glasses-- stronger than the reading variety. And all I've done is ignore all of these things... put them off until later. I guess I didn't think I was important enough to make myself a priority.
NO BUENO, COURTNEY.
So I've decided that self-care is, at its heart, ESSENTIAL self care. It's making time for critical yearly exams, and mammograms, and cooking a healthy meal. It's taking a shower in the morning and getting dressed in real clothes so that I feel better about myself that day. It's taking time to mediate, and write in a journal and collect my thoughts instead of running from one thing to another.
Self-care isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. As women, we are constantly taking care of everyone else. We've GOT to remember to take care of ourselves.
So, this year, that is my priority. Getting healthy. Going for check-ups. Getting that freckle checked out on my arm that grew some last year. ALL THE THINGS that I would insist members of my family do, I'm gonna do them too.
We are strong. I like to say, strong as steel. Even steel can get brittle if it is neglected. So, this is my year. I've got to make sure my body stays as strong as my mind.
I'm closing this post so that I can go make an appointment with my doctor. Look out, stirrups, cold speculum, and "You're just going to feel a pinch." I'm coming for you.