My Perfectly Imperfect Self-Care

When the beautiful Mara and  Tamarisk asked if I would be part of a blog hop that was going to have a focus on self-care – I have to confess I immediately recoiled.  Didn’t want to do it.

But as I looked deeper into what the focus of what they wanted, I softened, because I could see it was going to present me with an opportunity to talk about self-care in a way that was much more real than I had ever written about before or potentially had read anywhere else as well.  So I said yes – I’m in.  And here I am.

You’re probably wondering why the hesitation for a counsellor and coach who seemingly on some days talks to clients and others about self-care a LOT.  And I do.

Well the simple answer is…I’m a bit over reading about self-care only in terms of it meaning lomi lomi massages, facials, expensive chocolate and finding the world’s best and most beautiful babysitter on short notice to look after your children for three days while you have some ‘time out.’  Sure, a massage and facial is nice and a very self-care orientated thing to do, but how possible are these things for us every day, every week or even every month?  Due to potentially so many reasons – money, time, transport, other responsibilities, I think for many of us they are not that realistic a part of our ongoing and regular self-care routine.

For me, and maybe you too, self-care is about snippets and snatchets of time where I get to be kind to myself in a way that is necessary for me on some days simply to keep functioning and breathing and smiling, and on other days to boost me into that realm of feeling blissful and rested and self-loving.  To me, as I have gotten older and hopefully wiser I have learned that self-care for me is about the accumulative impact of doing small things – even boring or mundane things – that add up to making a real difference to my well-being.  Yes.  About twice a year I manage to get myself a massage, but it’s the every day stuff that I think really makes a difference and really reminds me to continue to be a self-caring woman as much as I can.

Here’s the reality of my day to day…

They say we should drink eight glasses of water a day.  Great for me as I happen to really like it.  Some days though I only manage half that.

– For me to feel fully at my best I need eight to nine hours sleep a night.  Many times I only get seven.

– I know I should sit down at the dinner table with my husband and the tv off and chat to him while we eat at night, being fully conscious of each other and chewing mindfully.  If Modern Family is on – there’s no chance of this happening.

– I should not have multiple windows and pages open on my computer at the same time, splitting my brain and thoughts between many places and things at once.  But sometimes I do.

– I love to do yoga on my sunny deck in the morning but sometimes the call of a good book for an extra twenty minutes in bed in the morning calls louder.

– I’m not certain about the amount of green vegetables someone is actually supposed to eat on a weekly basis but I know it’s a lot.  I do my best and love my greens but I’m not so sure I hit the actual recommended amount all the time.  In fact, I’m sure I don’t.

So my self-care is far from perfect.  But I think most importantly of all, regardless of the fact my self-care is not all tied up with a pretty bow and I can always give myself a big tick, its that I know two very important things.  The first is that I know and value and believe with all my heart self-care is not a life luxury.  Massages and facials may be, but the simple acts of being self-caring to my own mind, body and soul with things like enough water, beautiful food, love, exercise and a million other tiny things every day are not.  And where these all stem from is self-kindness and knowing with absolute clarity the second most important thing about self-care and that is – I am worth it.  I am worth being kind and gentle and loving and caring towards.  That’s more important to have and know as a given no matter what the end result may be – perfectly imperfect as it so often is.

And I have news for you beautiful you.  You’re worth it too.  Tell yourself I told you so.

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