Here’s a lie we all have been caught saying: Taking care of myself is selfish.
Here’s the truth: Taking care of yourself is essential and not one bit selfish. There is just no way you can be of any true help for another in need, whether that is your partner, your clients, or your kids unless you have taken the time to restore your energy bank. We pour out so much energy on everyone around us, showering others with mercy, love and affirmation. When was the last time we turned the love fest inward? When was the last time you wrote your inner self a love letter?
Let me do something monumental right now for you. I will give you permission to take a personal day. Just do it. What will help reenergize your energy stores? Writing? Art projects? That Pinterest recipe you keep pinning? Jogging? Coloring with crayons with your inner child? Whatever it is that will restore you, I give you permission to engage in those activities. Say yes to yourself and your self care plans. Treat each one of your senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing. Delight your senses and don’t feel one ounce of guilt for indulging.
So why do I feel this message is ever so important to share:
I have been extremely busy as of late spinning more plates than physically possible for this 25 year old woman. I felt my anxiety climb to an insurmountable level. I felt I had no way out. All I could see was the huge list of tasks set before me all screaming for attention, all screaming “URGENT!” I knew in the back of my mind that if I just hit pause and stepped back, my anxiety would slowly begin to fall back down to manageable levels. Yet the anxiety was telling me a lie: everything must be done now or you will fail. My anxiety was whispering if you stop now, you will never finish what you must. It was a drowning cacophony of anxious noise. I had to find a way to shut it down.
I knew the remedy. Art.
After a friend handed me a permission slip to stop striving and relax, I sat down with some old friends, finger paints. I may be 25, but my fingers have not outgrown the feeling of spreading paint across paper. It is primal. It is basic. It is soul satisfying and a slow motion remedy for my fast paced lifestyle. I sat down with scraps of newspaper, paint and began to quickly tape, fold and paint the various paper scraps. Oh how sublime and satisfying this felt at midnight after a extremely long day. Why did I wait until my energy store was empty to replenish? Why did I withhold what I needed to reduce my anxiety until I had almost maxed out? Refreshed, I felt myself ease into sleep that night, fulfilled and refilled.
Lesson I learned: Set time to relax even when you don’t feel you have the time. Set time to say yes to your own needs. Set time to self care. I promise you 30 minutes of self care time may be all you need to get through the week. It’s worth it because your mind, body and soul are worth it!
Here is my art project: