Self-care seems to be the latest thing that everyone is talking about. (Click Here to read a helpful article on self-care). Self-care is simply being mindful and taking care of yourself. I realize that plenty of people, women especially, don’t take the time to do this because they are so busy taking care of everyone else. This has never been my issue, per se because I always make time for me. I figured out a long time ago that if I’m not healthy and happy then no one around me will be either.
For me, self-care is especially important during the winter months. I feel heavy in the winter – not physically – but mentally heavy. The colder months depress me and for whatever reason I can never seem to get warm. I brace myself as winter approaches because the season covers me like an avalanche and I have to fight to escape what I’m feeling.
Last week, many of us on the east coast were hit with a snow storm. Where I live, in coastal Virginia, it is not common practice to plow the city streets. Probably because in years gone by the accumulation has not warranted a snowplow. I get it. However, in recent years that has not been the case and the last few winters have left me snowbound for several days. I have been unable to safely leave my neighborhood because the roads are impassable.
Now, for an introvert such as myself, as long as I have food, coffee, water, wine and an internet connection – I’m good. At least for the first couple of days. After that, I’m stir crazy. I begin to feel inhuman. I have nowhere to go so I don’t put on makeup or shoes. My hair is a mess and I’m not exercising. I gravitate toward carb-y comfort food and nothing else. It is a miserable time.
Once the temperature got above freezing and the ice began to melt and I was able to leave the house things began to look up. This is where the self-care comes into play. I needed to feel human again. So yesterday when I left work, I made 4 stops: (1) the wine store (2) the craft store (3) the health food store and (4) the grocery store. When I finally made it home I made myself a big salad with greens, tomato, avocado and hard cooked eggs. I poured a glass of wine. I worked on a crochet project. I moisturized and sealed my hair. I went to bed early and got up this morning at 4am and went to the gym and worked out for an hour.
I finally feel human again and that heavy feeling is gone. I can face anything. I can do anything. I have learned what my triggers are (i.e. cold weather) and I know I cannot escape them. I just have to brace myself and ride the wave while simultaneously doing everything I can to make myself feel better. That is the importance of self-care. We cannot wait for other people – spouse, children, friends, etc. to make us feel better. It is up to us. Do what you need to do to be happy in this life. Figure out what you need, the things that make you truly happy and go ahead and indulge. You need it and you deserve it.