The topic of self care has come up a lot this week. Of course, when I hear the same theme pop up in various contexts, I start to pay attention. I guess that's a good thing because I've been having a bit of trouble in this area this week. Come to think of it, my usual rule is to pay attention when I hear something three times, and I've heard about self care at least three times three times this week!
Suggestions for managing stress have ranged from jumping off a building, to ignoring the stressors, to making an artist date for refilling the creative well. While I think I'll skip the first idea, I have come to the conclusion that intentionality is key in self care, no matter what route you take. It used to be that I could just unwind by vegging in front of the TV or putzing around at anything in general. It's not that easy anymore. When did relaxing start to be so much work?
Part of the problem is that I can't take much vacation these days, and as of late my time off is not as sacred to others as it is to me.
So on the one hand, intentionality takes more effort, especially since I really want my down time to be quality time. On the other hand, I've learned that intentionality can turn a lot of every day things into acts of self care. It's not that much more effort to take a bath than it is to take a shower, and catching up on emails is not so much a chore as it is a chance to communicate with friends. As I was telling some friends the other day, "We all have dinner pretty much every day. It's the candles and flowers that help turn it into a date."
If all that fails to work, buy books. Lots and lots of books.