Okay, so the video is not a video. It’s lame. The song, however, is incredible. Give a listen, eh?
I’m on vacation this week. It’s really more of a staycation as, aside from a few day trips, I’m at home. It’s been so nice! Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching yoga oh so very much, but everyone needs a little something different. We all need a break. After the month of May kind of picked me up by my feet and shook me upside down, I really needed some time to practice self-care.
Self-care. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a ton in the yoga community. ”Self-care is so important!” “Never forget Self-care!” “Care for yourself first!” But, really, what does it mean? How does one go about practicing this illusive act? Does it mean doing what others thing is the best thing for you? Does it mean being completely and totally pure in mind, though, action, and diet? Does it mean getting check ups and pedicures and naps and highlights and brows waxed? Is it all of the above or none of the above?
The answer is YES!
Self-care is just that – SELF care. What I need to do for me is not what you need to do for you and vice versa. I cannot tell you how much I hate it when I am talking to friends about what is going on in my life and they say things like, “What you need to do is….” or “Sounds to me like you need to ….” UGH! The fact of the matter is that no one in the entire world knows what you need any more than you do and you have no idea what anyone else needs at all. The only person who knows what you need is YOU, the trick is to listen to yourself and honor what you hear.
This week, I have tried to practice what I am preaching. As someone who works to serve others (as a teacher to my yoga students, as a manager, as a mother, as a homeschooling mama, as a friend, as a wife, as a whatever,) I often forget to ask myself what I need, and I even more often forget to serve myself. This is a gnarly, nasty, slippery slope I slide down so often it makes me dizzy. I know I am not alone in this. I think we can all benefit by sharing with each other what we personally need. If nothing else, getting it out there into the universe helps to bring it to us (plus we might also realize that we are not alone and we deserve to have our needs met.)
What I need (in no particular order – and on any given day):
Time to read for pleasure. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do. I’m a better person when I get my book time in.
An incredible, fun, functional pair of yoga pants. Now I’m not one to go all hog wild over lulu, or alo, or Prana. I’m just not. I have more yoga pants that have come from Target and Old Navy than your average bear. That said, I treated myself to a pair of Shining Shakti pants for my birthday and fell SO deeply in love with them that I ordered another pair this week. Look for the review coming up next.
To turn my phone off. I love my phone. I love my friends. I love my job. I love my family. I also love being able to turn it all off. I have to set time to myself. I have to be able to set and hold strong to boundaries of what hours I am working and what hours I am playing. Which brings me to…
Play. I need to play. I need to be able to float in my pool with great music playing and a cold drink in my hand. I need to play card games and poker and Clue! and chess with my kids. I need to go to concerts and to dinner and to movies and shopping. I need to play – I REALLY need to play – and that’s okay.
Nail polish and lip gloss. These two little expenses have always made me happy. There is nearly nothing that can not be bettered by a fun and funky set of toes and a pretty smile. I will always indulge in this.
The gym. This is the biggest one that I realized this week. I have missed the gym so much. I used to be at the gym 5 days a week, working out, getting my endorphin rush on. Then I started teaching 3x a week at the gym and stopped going to work out. And then I stopped teaching at the gym and … I stopped going to the gym. OH how I miss it! I miss the time alone. I miss the weights and the treadmill and the elliptical and the bike and the sweat. I miss it all! People think I must be insane to want the gym, seeing as how I teach 5x a week and am always doing yoga, but I’m here to tell you, it is not the same. I found myself lamenting to my husband over and over and over again the last few weeks, “I want my gym membership back! I miss the gym!” Originally, my membership was a gift from him for my birthday a few years ago and … I dunno, maybe I thought he would sign me back up. It never happened. This brings me to the next thing I need…
My own money and the power to do with it what I want. I don’t need a lot of it, just a little in my pocket. I need to feel free to get what I need when I need it and, occasionally, what I want when I want it. Now, my husband has never denied me anything I have ever needed and very very very rarely even anything I have ever wanted. I’m a little spoiled that way, I guess, but I need something more than that: I need to be able to do it myself, for myself, by myself. To that end, I called the gym up this morning and switched the membership over to my own personal bank account. It feels incredible!
Sleep. There are days I only require 5 hours of sleep. There are other days that I need around 10. My body knows what I need, who am I to question it?
Music of all kinds at all times. My entire life has a soundtrack. There are very few moments that I am not surrounded by music. Music is the metronome of my heart and my breath. I love finding new (old) music, love hearing things in new ways, need it like the flowers need the rain.
My Y-Chromes. I have the utmost pleasure and honor of living with 3 human males and one canine male. I love them beyond words. There is nothing that can ever happen to me that cannot be made easier, happier, funnier, gentler, better with the love, support, and presence of my husband, my children, and my dog. There are days when we never leave the house, we don’t answer the phone or emails or the door. We just hang out living and loving and laughing together and healing our own little world. I need them.
This is not an exhaustive list, for certain, but they are things I need to be happy and healthy and whole. I deserve these things, not because I am awesome, but because I am alive. I deserve to care for myself in these ways and, guess what? SO DO YOU!
What does Self-Care look like to you? What do YOU need? How do you go about getting it?