So this weekend was a total bust. At least in my busy mind it was. However, if you’re a normal person with an understanding of the importance of slowing down, this was the perfect weekend. I often preach self-care to myself and to others but I don’t listen to myself that well. Do you ever have trouble listening to your own advice? I do.
Let’s start at the beginning. It was just a week ago that I celebrated a birthday and it was AH-MAZING. No, really, it was. Anyway, I was still on a high from the actual weekend of being surrounded with such supportive and hilarious friends, my sweet husband and family. Monday the celebration continued slightly because I had a birthday lunch planned with my former co-worker a.k.a. my “work wife”. I woke up that Monday feeling excited about lunch but also feeling a little icky. I shrugged it off and proceeded to frolic to my lunch. Later recognizing the icky feeling, I took a trip to Local Juice to fuel up on an immunity juice.
The next day, I proceeded to go about my day of trying to “build an empire”, which meant ignoring what my body was telling me to do. Wednesday rolls around and I’m not feeling bad but I’m not feeling my best either. I cooked dinner, made my favorite Brussels sprouts and recorded a podcast (more on that later).
My throat was a little scratchy but I thought it was nothing a couple of Ricola cough drops couldn’t handle. As if the scratchy throat and runny nose wasn’t enough of a warning, how did I really figure out something wasn’t right? I didn’t drink or have coffee at all during the week. That may sound like nothing to you but whenever my friend Jennifer and I record a podcast and have dinner, we always have after-dinner cocktails. Not this time though. I always have coffee in the morning or at my favorite coffee shop. Nope. Not this week. That’s when I knew: it’s time to implement some real self-care.
Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves? I mean, they tell us on flights, put on your own oxygen mask before you go off to help others. Why is that? It’s because we can’t possibly be of help to anyone else or as I like to put it, build an empire, if we’re not breathing on our own. There’s no cute way to put it, you just can’t.
As I sat in the bed Thursday afternoon, Friday and most of Saturday, nursing what started as a warning from my body, I couldn’t help but think of all of the things I needed to accomplish to build this empire. I don’t take naps. I’m always staring at my phone or computer. I’m always writing notes and lists for event ideas or people and brands I’d like to collaborate with. And that’s fine – it’s who I am. However, when I was forced to halt all things empire related, it made me realize that self-care isn’t just taking preventative measures to not become sick. It’s also simply LISTENING to your body.
The importance of self-care
Had I listened to what my body was telling me on Monday, my cold may not have gotten so bad that it caused the husband to force me to go to a Minute Clinic. Perhaps if I would have listened to my body, we wouldn’t have spent, what felt like, hundreds of dollars on meds and juices.
I promised myself that my 34th year would include taking care of myself. Here we are, the first week of my 34th year and my self-care manifesto went out of the window. But no more. That’s not to say I won’t get sick again in the next 365 days but I will honor and be more respectful of my body especially when it’s telling me to slow down.
The two-and-a-half days I spent in bed was tough but necessary. As I write this, I’m still not 100% better but I’m getting there. I’m being kinder to myself and taking this self-care thing more serious. As you take self-care more seriously, don’t forget to listen to your body and your instincts. Listening is the toughest but most important step of self-care.