A Crazy Little Thing Called “Self Care”

Last week, Mr. Wonderful and I were on stay-cation.  We soaked up the sun in Santa Barbara, indulged in delicious fresh crab alfresco on the pier at sunset, and even attended a midday Angels game.  It was a great time of rest, recharging, and perspective for me.  Up until vacation I had run myself ragged at work.  I said yes to way to many extra things, even though normal work duties had hit a creschendo of craziness with graduation right around the corner.  I was working 10 or 12 hour days which is just way too much face time with high schoolers.  I started vacation last Friday dazed, exhausted, and crabby.  I’m not going to let that happen again.

I love how when on vacation, I get such perspective.  I am preparing to head back to work with a peaceful, satisfied gratitude for my job, my coworkers, and my students.  Oh how I needed this.  I also resolved to make some changes that could generally be referred to as “self care”.  I’ve always prided myself on being low maintenance.  I dont need fancy hair products and I’m not particiular about my food.  I can be ready to go just about anywhere in less than 20 minutes no matter what.  I throw my hair into a careless ponytail most days and my favorite pair of jeans are still going strong 5 plus years now.  All this said, maybe I should be a little higher maintenance.  Not high maintiance, but just move up a little in the self care department.  Heres how its going to look:

Just say no! My work culture is a very “yes” culture.  Everyone is saying yes to working Saturdays, teaching Summer school, you name it.  I’m learning that my quality of life is more important than the lure of bit of extra cash.  In fact, I’m in this amazingly position of not even needing the extra money.  We have no debt, a nice savings accruing, and Im able to get whatever I need without blinking an eye.  I’m in this very sweet place of being able to choose yes or no.

Outside or bust.  I need to be outside, plain and simple.  My mediterranian skin craves the warmth and melanin activiating sun so much so that the daily grind in flourescent lighting absolutely depresses me.  On vacation I spent a lot of time outside and besides acquiring a lovely golden tan, I felt the benefits of the outdoors deep down in my soul.

Know thy enemy.  Caring about myself means paying more attention to my body.  With a motive not driven by the typical quest to lose ten pounds, I finally acknowledged the ever present pain in my stomach after eating.  So I’m trying an experiment: avoiding gluten.  Just for 30 days to see if maybe I have a bit of gluten allergy or something.  I have to say, about 4 days in, I am feeling much better.  Is it because of total gluten avoidance or because of a week of vacation?  Who knows?  Either way, its an expression of self care that will work together with other initatives that will make me a person who knows how to love and care for herself.

2 Responses to “A Crazy Little Thing Called “Self Care””

  1. Joy
    May 21, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Yes! *fist pump* Very inspiring to hear about your successful staycation and steps toward self-care. Hope your first day back at work is great!

  2. barbara l. fordyce
    May 25, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    I appreciate and applaud your willingness to share your struggles and triumphs in life. I am encouraged by your heartfelt journey!

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