Well, another week has gone by. Emily and Leah here, co-creators of the Creative Soul Weekend. We’re here with the second of four personal essays by Leah on topics near and dear to our Creative Soul hearts. This month we’re whetting your appetites for the upcoming retreat in September by reminding you of why we do this, why we get together for the weekend in that lovely little cabin and play.
Then in August we’ll be sharing the details of what we have planned, and opening registration!
Cheers! And enjoy the essay.
Self-Care on the Daily, Weekly, Yearly
“Self-care.” - these two little hyphenated words have gotten so much buzz lately. I think it’s because these words can mean such different things to each of us. Some women are derisive of the term and think it unrealistic, that in our busy lives we’re also expected to take long bubble baths and pamper ourselves like we’re at a five-star hotel. And who’s got time for that?!
But I prefer Mara Glatzel’s take on self-care, as I heard her explain to Tiffany Han in a podcast episode once. She says, “When I think about self-care, I think about the baseline of things that you require -- physically, emotionally, spiritually, as a human -- to keep showing up each day, the way that you might want to. To keep doing the work in the world the way that you want to. And it has so much more to do with what you want your life to be like, than a vacation from your life.” (It’s a fantastic episode, check out the rest here: http://www.tiffanyhan.com/blog/maraglatzel )
I know for me, personally, it’s a work in progress. It takes time to figure out: what are those things, what is that baseline? It takes many small things -- many small decisions -- for me to know. For example, Sunday mornings in bed reading. That time is for me, now, a non-negotiable. My boyfriend brings me a coffee with a shot of Baileys (a coffee that I get up and make, mind you, and then come back to bed for a bit more cuddling while it percolates), and then I prop myself up on pillows, turn my phone to airplane mode, and read. (Or write, as when I first drafted these four essays.) But it wasn’t always that way. As I’ve tried it out and done Sundays a variety of ways, I’ve realized what I like best, what fills me up the most.
Self-care can also be simpler than that, it can be daily. Daily self-care for me is: actually sitting down to eat breakfast, as opposed to scarfing it while I do my other morning tasks, standing at the kitchen counter. It’s taking a walk on my lunch break, either in a park close by or just around the block. It’s listening to music in my earbuds while I work, and getting to choose the sounds that fill my brain. And it’s watching Jeopardy! after supper: “I’ll take self-care for $400, Alex!” Do I get to do all of these things every single day? No. But on the whole, I get to do some of them, some days, and the way they allow me to, as Mara says, keep showing up in the way that I want to in my life, is motivation to keep making them a priority.
So there’s daily self-care, and weekly self-care, and, I’m realizing, there’s such a thing as yearly self-care. The yearly self-care category I reserve for bigger things like the Creative Soul Weekend, which is why Emily and I sacrifice a bit of our daily or weekly downtime through the year to make it all come together. We do it because It’s important to both of us, and I think it has become even more important to us after we had the first retreat last year and got to experience it, got to feel it filling us up.
But the retreat isn’t a vacation from my life, it’s part of how I want my life to be, its part of the baseline of things I need to keep showing up with integrity, with groundedness, in my life. I need to know that at least once a year I take a little break and go to the seaside, learn something new and fun with a small, intimate group of like-minded ladies.
That’s my self-care. What’s yours?
(No really… we want to know, what’s your self-care look like, whether daily, weekly, or yearly? Leave us a comment.)