I have always felt the pressures as a woman to be good at what I thought the world meant as “SELF CARE”
Honestly, what do you think of when you hear “Self Care”?
Maybe it’s just me but my mind automatically went to pictures of well dressed women in fully-done makeup, drinking champagne, wearing face mask, and getting pedicures.
1st: I want to say that there is nothing necessarily wrong with this image. My problem is that this is not what “Self Care” is for me.
It bothered me because I would crave a kind of rest that I haven’t experienced in some time. No matter how hard I tried, I would end up in this cycle of chronic fatigue of life that had no end in site. You’re thinking it… sheesh depressing. Yeah.
My anxiety and misunderstanding of this term made me believe that “self care” was unappealing and most of all… unattainable.
Let me explain.
I never get my eyebrows done… like ever. The only time I have ventured this torture was when my older sister forced me too. She literally has to pay for it because…
- 1. There is NO way I’m going to pay for it
- 2. I DIDN’T want to do it in the first place
- 3. BECAUSE IT FREAKIN HURTS
One of these GLORIOUS occasions, was when I got my eyebrows threaded at a kiosk in the middle of the Lubbock Mall. Classy. Apparently the amount of eyebrow hair that came flying through the air as the thread lady grazed her devil thread across my eyebrows was apparently more than usual because I just hear “WOE, are you serious?” from a very judgmental dude that was next in line.
Yeah Bro, I don’t get my eyebrows done ok… Why are you even here?
FACT: You should know that I have an EXTREMLEY over-protective older sister who says whatever the heck she wants, when she wants. This young man became aware of this fact pretty quickly and this alone drew more attention to the situation.
I seriously felt like the bearded lady.
Listen DUDES… it’s cool if you get your eyebrows done but don’t get all judgy when some chick has thicker eyebrows than you. WE WILL GET DEFENSIVE AND SARCASTIC AS WE LET YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE MORE OF A MAN THAN YOU.
I’ll keep going.
When I was pregnant with my daughter… My husband, FIL, and little brother were nice enough to accompany me, my MIL & SIL to get pedicures. I was near the end of my 3rd trimester and my feet were absolutely killing me.
OUT OF ALL THE MEN FEET THERE…. GUESS WHO THEY PULLED THE DUMB AND DUMBER SANDER OUT ON.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Dumb and Dumber, I went ahead and added the video for reference purposes.
This is my life people.
I mean there is nothing like going to get a pedicure and listening to the forceful Korean lady (who hadn’t spoke any English since I had walked in) YELL that you need to get your eyebrows done over and over no matter how many times I said NO THANK YOU!!! (This was a separate instance.)
Basically, I’m saying that I need ALOT of champagne to get through what I thought “SELF CARE” meant.
I had one of best friends (Rae) come down awhile back who is the absolute best at taking care of her skin/ body. She was so sweet and wanted to do a spa night with my family. My daughter was so pumped about all of the face mask, the nail polish, and NO LIE… my sweet friend even brought a FACE STEAMER. She is absolutely AMAZING!
SIDE NOTE: These are all things that I knew I would be inadequate at when I found out I was having a girl. This is why I am so thankful for people like Rae and my Sister.
Anyways, I watched my kids relax with their cute little face mask. I even watched Rae rub a mud mask on my husband who FELL ASLEEP because he was so relaxed. What the crap?
When she told me to lean my head back to relax, it was like pushing a concrete block on to more concrete blocks. There was no relaxation besides the fact that I knew Rae was taking such good care of my family.
The only logical answers that I can find is that
1. I have been a Tom Boy most of my life and just feel awkward in this kind of setting.
2. I’ve always believed I was doing it all wrong, the world (magazines-social media) depict images of women indulging in some momentary pleasure that is supposed to make their lives instantly better and I have always been skeptical of this. Did all of her problems just go away?
3. The most obvious is that working in the medical field…I have spent most of my life taking care of others, so it’s honestly kind of uncomfortable for me to be… I don’t know…Pampered.
Like, What do I do with my hands?
Maybe I’m weird…I don’t know. I’m just horrible at maintaining.
I mean, I had to get a razor subscription because I didn’t buy a new one for like a year and half. I would always put the razor back because it never seemed important enough for me to buy.
My point is that what I have come to find out over the years is that “Self Care” can take on a variety of forms depending on what we need.
Basic questions to ask?
- What helps you relax?
- What brings you peace?
- What helps boost your confidence?
- What is going to get you through to your next day?
- Will my actions have good or bad consequences?
- How can you be a better you?
Before I make this next list, first you need to make sure you are truly taking basic care of yourself. Girl, take a shower, get your yearly check ups, eat and nourish your body, try your hardest to get adequate sleep, and forgive and let go of relationships that are holding you down.
After that, make a list of some things that truly bring you relaxation and joy. I took the time to list out a “few” of mine lol
- I love to crochet
- I love to sing
- I love buying plants & gardening
- I love dancing it out with my kids
- I love my women’s discipleship group
- I love watching movies
- I love watching fail videos on YouTube.. (I will laugh for hours)
- I love SITTING in a hot shower.
- I love being at home with my family with ALL devices turned off
- I love trying new places to eat
- I love driving my jeep with the top off and music blaring
- I love having sex with my husband (HEYO)
- I love kayaking
- I love being a prankster
- I love skating
- I love hiking
- I love competing
I find joy in all of these things. So when I need to relax, these are my go to’s so that I can gain some perspective.
With that being said, I find it important to say that in my life as a Christian Woman, self-care is more than just a “quick fix”. It’s gaining perspective so I can make a daily decision to completely nourish myself in God’s word and invest in my overall well being. Building healthy habits that replenish everything that I am. I know I listed some things I love to do that DO help me relax but the reality is what brings it all together is my relationship with God. Without God… I am a hot mess.
I find peace in the hope that comes from my savior and spending daily time with Jesus refreshes my wandering heart and enables me to pour myself into the service of others. This is important when I evaluate what “Self-Care” really is in my life.
If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that we need support to get through this life and sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. SOOOOOOOO…..
If SELF care looks like champayne with face mask and pedicures… DO YOU!!
If SELF care looks like just making sure you brush your teeth everyday… DO YOU!!
If SELF care is going stinking Sky diving… DO YOU!!
But do this all in knowing that you are striving for perspective in what you truly need to focus on in your life that will make a better you.
Take time to find out what actually works for you. Make a list of times in your life that you felt awesome and try to incorporate it into your life.
UNLESS IT WAS WITH COCAINE OR SOMETHING… DON’T GO BACK THERE lol
Whew! Close Call….
Take care of yourself
Godspeed and Love,
THE IRISH TULIP