Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gratuitous Self-Care

Here's a thing.

You know how when you look at someone else's life and admire that person's accomplishments and general ability to lead forward into life? At the same time, though, when it's you people are affirming, what you're actually feeling is "#$)(, this is hard."

Yeah. That's where I am.

There's not a thing I want to give up. Well, I would make a few changes here and there. What I mean is that there's not a category of things I would give up. I want meaningful work (and I need to eat, besides). I want to work out. I want to create things and tend my home. I want to learn new things and chart a course toward academia. I want to hang out with my friends and family. I want.... I want...I want...

But there are days when I'm just bloody exhausted. Yesterday I took a nap at 6:00 because I literally could not do anything else. And I still went to bed at 10:30. I've been getting up at 5:15 so that I can have a 1/2 hour bike ride before getting ready for work and flying out the door. This morning, even with all the sleep, I convinced myself that it was still too dark to ride at that time. (And it is getting darker in the mornings which is going to throw a monkey wrench into my scheduling.) But what I really wanted was another half-hour of sleep. The darkness was a red herring and not even I was fooled.

All of which leads me to this conclusion. I have to ADD a category of things to my life. Don't you just love how I come to apparently insane conclusions and then try to argue that they are other-than-insane??

Gratuitous self-care. I need some. I go to yoga once a week. I get a massage about once a month. But I don't even mean (solely) things that cost a lot or involve me going somewhere. A bubble bath would count. A cup of peppermint tea while rocking in the rocker on my front porch would be lovely. But I need more ideas -things I can do on a moment's notice that take care of me. What have you got in the bright-idea department, oh wise ones?

And, you're free to borrow these ideas too, because I suspect that your life is no less complicated than mine.


Megan said...

Keep a few bars of exquisite chocolate around. Have a small square with your evening nightcap (tea, hot toddy, whatever). Every single night. I always feel better when I do that.

Andrea Rusin said...

Haven't seen you around in a while! How's hockey?

Lisa :-] said...

My major indulgence is....blogging. I seriously do not have time to write. And often, I don't really have the brain power to make much sense when I do write. But it always makes me feel better.

Obviously, this is something you already know...

tigana said...

Oh, I've got lots of these - what can I say? I'm important to me! LOL

Some of my favourite time-outs:
-dark chocolate, as recommended above
-really expensive hot chocolate mix with a little bit of Bailey's Irish Cream
-5 minutes of a magazine
-5 minutes of a book of short stories (usually I get sucked in and read the whole thing)
- a walk around the block to stretch my legs
-brush one of the cats till he purrs so hard the engine sputters :)
-sit back with an eye-pillow on and take 4-8 deep breaths (in the 4-7-8 inhale/hold/exhale pattern)
-legs up the wall - any wall, any where, baby
-call my best mate
-use my massager to work on a trigger point
-take the time to listen to a fovourite song on MP3
-clean something! I know this sounds strange, but mess stresses me out and cleaning up a key area makes a big difference in my stress level! Pick a drawer, part of a closet, whatever. I cleaned my desk 3 weeks ago - took 20 minutes and honestly? I've felt better ever since, every time I look over and it's not stackapalooza!

Renee said...

A semi-pedicure--just soak your feet for 5 minutes and then go to town with some foot scrub and/or pumice stone. Then slather on some lotion. You could trim and file and polish, too, but just this step feels pretty nice.

Deep condition your hair.

Give yourself a facial--cleanse, mask, and then moisturize.

Rub some fabulously scented (whatever your most favorite scent is) lotion on your hands and elbows (or feet, or the rest of your bad self!)

Burn some pretty scented candles and enjoy the ambience.

Curl up on the sofa under your favorite cozy throw blanket and read a chapter for your favorite book. -OR- pop in P&P and watch the scene where Darcy goes swimming.

Have a glass of wine, a wee bit of brie, and a sliced up apple or pear.

Geez, I just read my list and it looks like THE BEST EVENING EVER. (You do not have to do them all on the same night, but just imagine if you did!)

Anonymous said...


a cup of tea or chai

a chapter of a good book

an extra hour of sleep

a bubble bath, with candles, along with scotch or tea or chai and a good book

a walk

a favorite movie

soaking feet--I just use epsom salts---it's cheap and lovely.

puttering in the garden

and trying to remember not to be too hard on myself. That's what the rest of the world is for!

Loretta_S said...

Of all the things listed the extra hour of sleep sounds the best to me (YMMV)