Self Care Sucks Sometimes
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Last week I had a migraine that lasted for three days. It started Tuesday morning. I medicated. It went away by the afternoon. I woke up Wednesday. I medicated. It didn't go away. I stayed in bed. I woke up Thursday. I medicated. It went away. But still. Last week sucked. I particularly was upsetting because I had planned on a week of rest and self care. As much as a working mother can have rest. I didn't have speaking engagements so I was going to write in the morning, tidy my house (it was dirty), get to the gym three times, and maybe read something for fun. After a week of five days in a row of speaking and a week away from home recording my audio book, I thought the week I planned was what my body needed. Unfortunately, my body disagreed. It needed solitude, sleep, and dark rooms. Here's the bummer about self care. It would be great if it was all salt baths and yoga classes and finding time to have coffee with friends (for more on the hard work of self-care and the origin of this sentence and graphic, check out this past blog What Will Comfort Me Now?). But it isn't. It's listening to your body and giving it what it needs. Even if what it needs is a full stop.
I can already imagine the emails I'm going to get as a result of this blog: Well-meaning advice about nutrition or changing my schedule or essential oils so I don't get migraines in the first place. But the fact is, for all of us, that we are not as in control of our lives and our bodies as we wish we were. I do the best I can -- mostly -- within the life God has called me to, eat well, take supplements, wash my hands and exercise. But my family and I are still vulnerable to illness, fatigue and meltdowns. I did my best practices during those busy weeks, but a lot of things I couldn't control went awry. So the point of my story this week: Self care starts with humility. I got taken out last week for a few days. I didn't get what I wanted to do for myself or others. And the world did not stop turning. I got a lot of sleep over the weekend, and had a little fun, too. I had to accept the reality that I am only human, and instead of lamenting what I didn't get done last week, I'm happy to be able to be productive today. God's mercies are new every morning, which is good, because I'm going to need them. And so will you. Today, listen to your body. Check in with your heart. What do they need? What they need might not be what you want to give them. You might want a movie, a fun date night, a piece of chocolate cake. But what you might need is a hard conversation with your spouse, an early night and eight glasses of water. I don't know. But whatever your body and heart need go ahead and give it to them. It's okay to be human. It's beautiful, in fact.