I was invited to give a ten minute talk about self care at a fabulous women’s event tomorrow. I have a lot to say about the subject, so distilling things down to ten minutes for a room full of women I don’t know entirely well presented this challenge: What would they like to hear? What would apply to their lives, of which I know very little?
In good conscience I cannot say “get a monthly pedicure”. When life is hectic, for most people, pedicures and salon appointments fall to the bottom of the list. Telling someone who just lost their job, or who’s taking care of an ill family member, or who hates having their feet touched to “get a monthly pedicure” is unrealistic at best. The same goes for manicures, facials and massages; they are all really awesome, healthy, stress-reducing activities for most people most of the time, but when self care is most crucial, when life has beaten our spirits down with the tenacity of a prize fighter in the 10th round, we may need to be more pragmatic.
I’ve been thinking about this for weeks, and have come up with what I believe to be my best self care definition to date: Self care is making space in which you realize the sacred nature of wellbeing.
This could mean taking yourself out for lunch, going to the movies with a friend, roadtripping it to the ghosttowns of central Nevada, booking a cruise, turning off your phone and reading the book that’s been sitting unopened on your coffee table for eighteen months, painting your face with everything in your makeup drawer and raiding the Target clearance racks for an afternoon, playing your favorite game, all the glitter and YES, even that pedicure.
And when this is too much, make space. That is enough.