I realized it had been a little while since I posted anything here and with Valentine’s Day upon us, what better thing to talk about than self-care?
In January, I set a ton of goals for myself. An absolute fuck ton. It’s something that I’ve done for a couple years now, but especially this year.
Without getting deeply personal, December brought about the best and worst things that could have happened in my life leaving me with a lot of mental garbage. Still, I plugged along like nothing was wrong until I came to realize that I was starting to stretch myself too thin in an attempt to ignore it. I started to sink into depression.
And when you’re at that point, self-care is needed.
I know ‘self-care’ seems to be the hot button word of the day, invoking images of spas and everything that goes along with that, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Sure, if you need that to decompress, by all means, but when it’s something deeper, what do you do?
In slightly stressed moments, I started asking myself, “What is the most compassionate thing I can do for myself right now?” When hitting depressive levels and over-exertion, I realized I forgot to ask that question.
And that answer is going to look different for everyone.
For me, self-care looked like a couple days off of work. Self-care looked like taking a small break from Kitchen MacGyver-ing and getting delivery. Self-care looked like crying. Self-care looked like sleep. Self-care looked like talking to friends.
Self-care was living a few ‘frivolous’ days without my own judgment.
Most importantly of all, self-care was silence.
Self-care was listening to the chatter in my mind and everything I was worried about. Self-care was talking to a therapist. Self-care was realizing through all of it what was actually important to me.
I’m not going to lie that these moments are difficult, but they are absolutely necessary. We can’t pour from a cup that is empty. We can’t give of ourselves when we can’t give to ourselves. We can’t put our best foot forward if our feet are tired. We cannot move forward with our best selves when the weight of the world is heavy upon us.
I can say through all of this I am very grateful to have the friend circle I have. I am also grateful for the yoga practice I’ve cultivated to put me in the ‘compassion and self-care’ mindset in the first place. Most of all, I’m grateful for those around me to realize all that I have accomplished in the moments where I feel like I’m standing still.
In this space and silence that I’ve allowed myself, I go forward from here with a better sense of what I’m capable of and what I can do. What I can give. From this space and silence, I am ready to take on what’s ahead. From this space and silence, I go forward with the knowledge that this moment of stillness is just as – if not more so – important as moving.
The world around us nowadays encourages us to go. Constantly. It ties our self-worth to our productivity. It makes us feel guilty if we do nothing on days where we’re supposed to be doing nothing!
I encourage everyone to take a much-needed break because when we take a break, we come back better and stronger than we were before. We not only need it, we deserve it and – dare I say – it’s the most compassionate thing we can do.