As “buzzy” terms go, this new-ish one “self-care” has really been getting on my nerves. The question of “how are you practicing self care?” has come up in varied situations over the past year and quite honestly, I really didn’t know what the “right” answer was…until this past week, that is.
When asked this question during a women’s inspirational gathering via Zoom a month ago, I found myself scanning the faces of the other women on my screen — wondering what self care activities these youngsters were participating in that made them look so much calmer and less anxious than myself. (Bit of an aside here, but as this was my first experience with a sacred circle gathering, I was a wee bit on the nervous side and was pretty damn proud of myself for hitting that Zoom link and showing up. Thank you very much. ) So, when that self care questions popped up, the first thing I thought about was not what my answer WAS, but what my answer SHOULD BE. I didn’t actually feel like I was doing a very good job taking good care of self, not lately anyway.
“During this time of isolation during the pandemic, I have spent a lot of time reflecting. With my mind quiet, I find it easier to tap into my creativity” I say (what the what?)
I see nods across the 5 gallery boxes on my computer screen. The women approve. I’m in. I breathe. Must have been a good self-care type response, I figure.
The hour goes by more quickly than I anticipated, and it was quite lovely in the end, but that whole self care question nagged at me even as I hit “leave meeting.”
Fast forward to last week. It was the day before Day 1. I was talking to my younger sister on the phone and she mentioned her skin care routine. A light facial peel a few times a week; facial cream twice a day; this great new hand cream that works wonders, etc. And I’m intrigued. I know there’s a lot of ways to practice self care (trust me, I’ve read about all of them), but my sister was REALLY caring for herself. She had created a routine where she spent time caring for her skin. Like, every single day.
Then I thought about what my before bed routine looked like, (too) many nights: Wake up after falling asleep on the couch because I had that third glass of red; gulp down 1/2 glass of water (good to hydrate); upstairs to the bath, brush teeth, bed. Sometimes a squirt of hand cream if I’m lucky. On the odd night, if I hadn’t actually drifted off before heading to bed, I would remember to use the oil-based makeup remover to smudge off the mascara and called that basically a face-washing. And that was definitely not the norm.
My actual SELF CARE needed some SERIOUS CARING of it’s own.
As I was talking to her on the phone, I ordered every single item she uses for her personal skin care routine.
While I knew I was going on this journey toward an alcohol-free lifestyle, that is just part of the 2020 personal transformation plan. Other items on the list include:
- Taking better care of my skin
- Getting to a healthy weight
- Ditching the dye jobs and letting my natural hair color grow out
And that’s just the physical stuff.
So here I am on Day 6 and my face has not felt smoother. Seriously. My skin practically glows! I LOVE the facial peel, aptly named Drops of Youth, and the facial cream is the lightest, most wonderful feeling cream ever.
I’m only guessing here, but it’s probable that with my new routine of washing my face and actually taking care of it — coupled with the fact that I’m not dehydrating my entire body with gallons of liquor — my skin may actually start to look better in time. It’s kind of exciting to think about real physical transformations this year.
So, when asked that question about self care, I plan on responding with “I’m spending every waking hour of my day doing everything I can to be kind to my body.”