February was Self-Care month at the Yoga Co-op. The lesson in self care is always that one needs to have something in their own cup before sharing with others. It often comes with misguided feelings of being selfish or feeling guilty for doing something for yourself. But it is nearly always the opposite. Those that would feel guilty when taking time for self-care are typically people that care for others 95% of the time. It could be at home or at work or both, most people are in service of others, whether they want to be or not. But one cannot give if they have nothing left to give. And how often do we get to the bottom of the barrel, feeling fried, or frayed, or afraid of even looking at oneself in the mirror. Someone in that condition cannot effectively give care to others.
Unfortunately, a lot of self-care takes work. There's effort in spending time or spending money or spending energy organizing what needs to happen in order to feel taken care of. There is even the figuring out of what DOES make one feel taken care of. And it doesn't always look like a spa-day or a beach retreat. Sometimes balancing your budget is self care. Cleaning out a closet is self care. Making a doctor's appointment, or a mechanic appointment, or a therapy appointment might be self care.
I knew what my self care for February was going to be, but I did not know how profoundly cared for it would make me feel!
I enrolled in a 6 week clay class that started in February and ends next week. I got registered before all the spots were filled (no small task) I paid for it. I arranged childcare. And I committed. I didn't set a lot of expectations for myself, except to enjoy my time. It has been wonderful to get my hands in some "mud" as they say, even in the dead of winter. It has been wonderful to interact with a whole set of classmates outside of my isolation chamber. It has also been wonderful that the social contract begins and ends on Wednesday mornings--we're all there to enjoy our time and then we can say "see you next week."
I love creating things. This has been a really satisfying form of self-care, which makes it all more meaningful than things that are "supposed to" be good for me. The first thing I made were these little boats. I'll imagine filling them up with any little thing that nurtures me, including the memory of making them,
What makes you feel cared for?
What does it feel like when your cup is full?
Do you have self-care in your routine in some way or another?