“I engage in Extreme Self-Care, which means: I get regular massages, I prioritize yoga and meditation, I dress as comfortably as possible and I own a LOT of American Apparel jersey cotton knits, I take a bath about once a day, I diffuse essential oils, I buy the fancy tea and the special face cream and the best best best coffee, I read yummy books, I visit beautiful places and I see beautiful things, I chase my wonder, I dance when I want to dance, I sing when I want to sing, I don't go to parties that I don't want to go to, I talk to myself like I would my 3-year-old niece inside my head, I listen to good music and watch good movies, I laugh a lot, I spend money on acupuncturists and psychics and fancy juice and yoga classes, and I do a lot of other magical shit to take care of this sweet little body, mind and spirit.” - Holly Whitaker
Day 15: Extreme Self Care
Welcome to Day 15!
I’ve seen the term pop up everywhere lately. In women’s magazines, on popular blog posts and on social media. But what does it mean and why do we need it in our lives?
At its core, self care is doing things intentionally that you love. It’s enjoying activities that make your heart sing - whatever that means - but also making taking care of yourself (your WHOLE self) a priority. It is the only way you can take care of others.
When my twins were born early, they were in the NICU for nine days. For nine days, I stayed at the hospital around the clock, making sure I was there for every three-hour feeding, every feeding tube change, every single moment. I thought I was doing the right thing but I was not in any way, shape or form taking care of myself.
I didn’t eat
I barely drank water
I didn’t see the outside of the hospital walls
As a result, I couldn’t produce breast milk, I lost weight rapidly and I was SO incredibly stressed and fragile. I was anxious, grumpy and couldn’t sleep.
My husband, on the other hand, would go to the gym, go to lunch with friends to vent about the stress he was under and generally handled the entire situation a lot better. When I asked him how he could possibly go to the gym when our kids were in the NICU, he said,
“It’s like the oxygen mask on an airplane. I have to take care of myself so I can take care of my family.”
So I know we all are busy. We all have limited time in the day and limited resources - but you MUST make yourself a priority. That can look like a lot of things that soothes your mind, body and spirit (much like the example above in Holly’s quote).
In the video, I’m giving you a shiny goblet adorned with jewels. It’s a symbol of your self care cup. And it’s your JOB to find things - both big and small - that help you keep this cup filled to the brim. Choose small, actionable things that you can savor and enjoy. Here are a few suggestions:
Buy fresh flowers and take the time to smell them!
Go outside, breathe in the fresh air and put your bare feet on the grass
Enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea
Experiment with essential oils
Do a quick yoga flow or go for a run
Listen to your favorite music
Call a family member to share memories that make you laugh
Look at old pictures and share stories with your children
Finally, in order to take care of yourself, it’s important to get comfortable with asking for help and/or accepting help. I’m terrible at this! I like to do everything on my own. But I have learned that while I believe I can do it all, I cannot do it all at once. Here are some forms of accepting help:
Take up your mother in law’s offer to watch the kids while you have a date night
Go for a walk with a co-worker during lunch so you can get out of the office and enjoy some fresh air
Sell some old clothes or old toys and use the extra money to hire a babysitter for a few hours
When someone sees you are visibly overwhelmed and asks how they can help, give them an assignment. Ask them to run an errand for you, do a load of laundry or pick up some groceries that you haven’t had time to get off your to do list.
And when you are in a position to offer help to someone else, ask them how you can assist.
Finally, can we all agree with Marie Forleo when she says:
If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no?
Life is too short to waste your precious time going to the progressive dinner with neighbors you can’t stand, attending a church retreat with friends who no longer inspire you or volunteering at the school just because you think you have to do that to get a gold star.
FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 15
Throw out the idea that you don’t have the time or resources to carve in some “me time” into your day and identify some little things you can enjoy to keep your shiny goblet full of self care.
Say your Daily Mantra "I take care of myself so I can take care of others."
Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 15 (or share your favorite way to indulge in self care)
Send any questions you may have to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want us all to have a successful 30-Day Reset so let me know how I can help.