This weekend, I've really been thinking about the concept of self care. Specifically, I want to know how can I incorporate it into my everyday so I won't always be waiting for complete days/weeks off from work/family/job/daily reality.
See, I've had the house all to myself these past 4 days. My parents were out of town. And to be honest, its been wonderful.
And my parents didn't even have to worry about me throwing a wild party--ahh, the blessings of having an adult house sit!
Not that I don't like living with my parents (no offense Mom & Dad!), but after living on your own for so long....its just nice to be in your own space. I've been looking forward to this weekend in particular for as long as they've had the trip scheduled. Because I knew it would just be me, myself, and I. And it was just what this combo introvert/extrovert needed to recharge her batteries.
I took the entire weekend off from my job and have spent the past couple of days staying in my pjs; making waffles for brunch; roasting veggies for dinner; and, catching up on my fave soap opera storylines.
This morning when I woke though, a fog of sadness fell over my head. In fact, after writing about it, I realize it was a visit from the dreaded "Sunday Blues." Have you ever had those? Unfortunately, its a feeling all too familiar to me.
My version of the blues on this day? "My total self care weekend is over. What do I do now?" blues. I eagerly awaited this time off for almost a month. I spent time dreaming of all I could get done, and all I was going to do in my kitchen, my blog, and my life.
You should see my to do list for the weekend. Let's just say it was a tad adventurous. ;)
So, my first question to myself was: what exactly is self care?
I'll admit, up until now, I've always believed one need to carve out massive amounts of time in order to care for one's self. And when no major time was able to be carved out for self care, then it simply didn't get done.
Yep, those thoughts comprised my old mindset. I truly believed to my core one needed to keep on working and not stop to recharge/renew/refresh. I realize now (after alot of deep diving) said mindset actually was a combination of old stories I absorbed from my childhood and the culture I grew up in--that "gotta have more/do more/be more" mindset.
Luckily, I've had the chance to open my eyes and realize there is life outside of the "all work no play" mentality. Reason number 165,432 I am thankful I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. The mentality and mindsets I've held so dear for the 37 years I've been on the planet is completely shifting. And its so damn wonderful.
So, let me ask again: what is self care?
Would it be okay to admit I honestly don't know what that really looks like?
Back in my old mindset days, I thought self care just meant lots of massages, bubble baths, candles, and pedicures.
Well, guess what? This gal doesn't really like alot of those things. And I felt something was wrong with me because I didn't like them.
Except for the massages. Now those I can get behind.
But, in this new mindset I'm cultivating, I realize self care can be anything I want it to be. It is anything you want it to be. Its anything which makes us all feel loved, renewed, and cared for. And that really isn't going to look the same for everyone. Because we are all different.
Yes, there may be some overlap between folks. In fact, there is guaranteed to be overlap. That's why we have friends who share our same interests.
One of my interests......I'm sure you'll be surprised by this one....is cooking. Any and all things. In fact, I'd like to think in a former life, I was a frontier woman, because I'd be all about learning how to churn my own butter & whip things up completely from scratch.
Now, these waffles didn't require me to churn my own butter (that whole dairy allergy thing gets in the way with that one), but I did make them from scratch. Well, our 2017 idea of from scratch. Not the 1800's version.
I used a new flour in this recipe (well, new to me): brown rice flour. Have you ever tried it? Of course, its gluten free, which is great for all types of gluten intolerance and celiac disease. But, its also higher in fiber, b vitamins, calcium, and zinc than its sibling white rice. The only difference between these two is the appearance of the husk. In brown rice, the husk is left intact, keeping the nutty, rich flavor and heartier texture. In white rice, the husk is stripped, leaving the rice bare and nutrient deficient.
The rest of the ingredients, well, I've used them before but not in this combination. Lemon and lavender meld together to provide flowery, springy goodness. Perfect for a fun brunch with friends or a quick weeknight meal. Hey, I'm not judging if you eat waffles for dinner. Because I do. A lot.
So, what do these waffles have to do with my self care weekend? Well, I don't have to always take off long weekends from work to hibernate from my life to nourish my soul. In fact, I can just step into the kitchen and go into a whole other world. Whether for 15 minutes or an hour. Or for reheating leftovers or whipping something new. I have the choice to decide what self care is for me. I have the choice to do said activity any time my soul desires some "me" time. And, it may not always be cooking which is my care. It may be lounging in pjs or watching my soaps. It may be a day off or three weeks off. The point is its up to me. Not the stories I've absorbed from others.
And isn't choosing for ourselves the most nourishing activity anyway? Because when we decide on our own terms, we automatically are choosing from a place of love, nourishment, and respect. And those feelings are some of my major goals of practicing self care. Eating these yummy waffles.....well, that's just a side benefit!
What are your self care goals? Share with me in the comments. I'd love to hear what nourishes you.
Mega props to Minimalist Baker for inspiring this recipe.
adapted from Minimalist Baker