First, a disclaimer: I love massages! They can be a very important part of your self-care and a great contribution to your physical health. However, when I talk about self-care, I’m using the term in a very different way than marketers do.
We take care of lots of people all day long. And there needs to be some time and investment in taking care of ourselves in order to maintain that. I don’t advocate eating something delicious or listening to beautiful music just because it’s a sensual indulgence: I advocate it because feeding your senses is an essential aspect to cherishing and caring for this physical body you have been given. It’s super easy as a mom to see your body as strictly utilitarian, which can often damage your sex life (yeah, I’m going there!). When you indulge your body with pleasure, you can reawaken your desire – generally a good thing! In addition, waking up your senses with treats brings joy and energy into your life.
Ah yes, this is the doctor conversation. Have you had your teeth cleaned in the last year? What about a pap smear? When your chiropractor or massage therapist gives you exercises, do you do them? Are you still fighting your January cold but refusing to make a doctor’s appointment? What about your emotional health? Are you putting off the hard conversation? Are you avoiding someone because you have unfinished business? These unpleasant tasks are another essential element of self-care: They may be uncomfortable at the time but in the long run, they are well worth the short-term discomfort.
I talked about this in last week’s blog: we are surrounded by sensual pleasures that can be enjoyed for free! Warm sunshine, cool breezes, the sound of rain on your roof, the smell of blooming iris, the embrace of a loved one. I get it – I’m a busy mom. I don’t have time to take off 8 hours to go to a spa, no matter how much I want to. But I do have time to take a 30 minute bath and paint my toenails in the tub. I do have time to smell my iris when I go outside to check the mail. I can almost always entice my daughter to give me an extended hug. Even in the morning when chaos reigns, I can take 5 seconds to inhale the fragrant steam from my mug of tea.
Still confused about what self-care means? Check out my video: