Care

On weekdays I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. Early morning is about care. Walking the pup around the neighborhood and feeding her is care. Yoga and meditation is care. Nourishing food to take to the office is care. All of these activities are non-negotiable.

Self-care is not a luxury nor is it self-indulgent behavior. Self-care is how I balance and center myself so I can show-up for my life, co-workers, friends, family and community. Self-care takes time and commitment, but it is a high return activity. Scrolling social media, watching an endless loop of news or reality TV or a steady diet of processed food are low-return activates.

While I do enjoy a long soak in the tub on Sunday evenings, self-care is some much more than bath bombs and candles. Self-care is moving and caring for my body, meditation, a spiritual practice, daily food prep, time with family or friends, laughing, dancing wildly in the living room, creating, writing, reading, being outdoors, my animals and countless other things that bring me joy and keep me connected to the highest version myself. Doing something that lights me up every day is important.

Going to work is also self-care because it is how I provide for myself, those that depend on me and my responsibilities. I serve and support others by doing my job. Of course there are days that are hard or that I would rather be doing something higher on the “lights me up” scale, but understanding work is care has helped me see its importance to me and others.

In the dark days of the ebbing winter of 2021 there is both hope and despair. I am hopeful about the COVID vaccine, longer days and spring. But I have had conversations with more than one person close to me who is suffering from anxiety. I am not a medical professional but I can be present for and witness their pain. I can encourage each one to take a small step that will begin to bring some calm and balance to overworked adrenal glands.

Self-care is necessary.

If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anything or anyone else.

Breathe in through your nose.

Hold

Exhale through your mouth while making any sound that needs to be released.

Repeat as necessary.

16 thoughts on “Care

  1. Debbie says:

    Sarah, I love this statement: ” Doing something that lights me up every day is important.” And I 100% agree! Too often, we women are taught that caring for ourselves is selfish when it’s really self-preservation. As you said, you can’t take care of anyone or anything else if you don’t take care of yourself. And in these dark, cold, often-lonely days, that’s more important than ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Yes, you’re right about the need to do one thing each day that lights me up. I have become lax about that, just waiting for that darned vaccine. I tell myself that once I’ve had my jabs, I’ll get back into self-care– which now that I write that, I realize seems silly. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres says:

    Another aspect of self-care is moving away from negativity in all its forms. You hinted at that with your comments about social media and television, but the issue’s much larger. What we receive influences what we can give, and in a few instances I’ve had to separate myself from people who are unceasingly cynical, negative, nasty, and cruel. Mom always said, “Be careful who your friends are, because that’s who you’ll become.” The programmers have said from the beginning, “GIGO — garbage in, garbage out.” Annie Dillard says, “The writer is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write.” I believe them all. They’re advising discernment, not selfishness. Learning to judge properly is so important, because not everything is of equal value.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Davis says:

      YES! Thank you for the Annie Dillard quote.
      One thing I have realized is that everything one takes in must be digested, including news a story endless scrolling. I intentionally set boundaries around my on-line life and blue screen use. There is a reason I only hinted at scrolling. More to come

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Barbara Rodgers says:

    What a pretty dog! Taking her for a walk sounds like a very bright spot in your mornings. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about self-care being a necessity, not a luxury, a refresher lesson I badly needed and appreciated this weekend. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

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