Images via Pinterst
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
– Audre Lorde, poet, writer, activist, 1934 – 1992
1/24th of your Day
You’ve heard it a million times before: you have to put on your oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs. This Pisces season I challenge you to make self-care a new priority. It sounds self-indulgent, but as Audre Lorde so eloquently states, caring for oneself “is self-preservation.” In today’s climate, taking care of oneself is as important as ever. We will explore simple ways to reframe your days or weeks to allow for this important and sustaining practice.
In our culture, self-care can be conceptualized as self-centered, greedy, or weak, so it may be difficult at first to attempt to carve out a bit of time each day or week for yourself. It may help to remember when you are stepping away from the computer, project, or your partner or family, that helping yourself will better enable you to conquer the tasks that may be wearing you down in everyday life. Recharging for an hour a day can give you the resolve and energy you need to conquer the other 23 hours you have ahead of you.
Conceptualizing your day as 24 hours for you to use can be helpful in finding that one hour for yourself. You’ll need 8 hours to work and another 8 to sleep, most days (this is an important part of self-care, as well!), so that leaves approximately 8 more hours for eating, commuting, chores, childcare, and living your life. If you can first commit to 15 minutes a day for a few weeks, you’ll find it less stressful to jump to a half-an-hour, and then an hour in the weeks following.
o Set down your phone and pick up a magazine, periodical, or book. Read.
o Lock the bathroom door. Parents know this is a gift to oneself.
o Breathe deeply. Meditate.
o Prepare yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or your favorite morning beverage and sit down to drink it while it’s still hot. No, you may not reheat it.
o Listen to a bit of music that you love.
o Cuddle with your person or pet.
o Paint your toenails.
o Write in a journal.
o Take a power nap.
o Call a friend or family member that lifts you up.
This schedule-bending is worth it as you’ll begin to see the benefits of self-care spilling over into the other hours of your day. This could manifest itself as more energy to take on the challenges a day can bring. You could notice you’re calmer in situations that previously made you upset. You could find your creativity sparked or a readiness to connect more with others. Hopefully this Pisces season will help you in putting on your daily “oxygen mask” and realizing that in caring for ourselves first, we are better prepared to care for others and give improved attention to our families, careers, and responsibilities.