If You’re Not Taking Care Of You, Who Will?

I’ve been spending too much time on social media. I belong to a few groups for both yoga and crochet and I run a few groups of my own. I’m noticing a trend in both my Facebook feed and my Instagram feed. You’re tired. You’re friends are tired. The world is tired. And I’m not talking about the tired you feel when you stay up an hour or so past your bedtime.

The tired I’m seeing around me and sometimes in me is fatigue. We’re all feeling the effects of pandemic fatigue, compassion fatigue, remote learning fatigue, don’t touch your face fatigue, media fatigue, political fatigue. You name it, we’re feeling it one way or another.

Even for me I’ve been managing my own expectation and disappointment fatigue. Canceling my retreat to Spain hit me like a ton of bricks and I wasn’t expecting it to crash on me. I made the decision to cancel in May and honestly, thought I moved through the sadness and grief. But then August 28th rolled around and that was the day I was supposed to be traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. And what compounded my fatigue was the fact that I was supposed to see both my daughters in Spain and then I was traveling to see my grandsons in Ireland following the retreat.

So I wallowed a bit. I slept a lot. I took naps when I needed to. I focused on activities that bring me joy. I painted. I crocheted…a lot. I treated myself with compassion. I allowed myself to feel sad. Spain was easier to release than not seeing my daughters and grand boys. My heart aches for them. We stay connected through video chats and phone calls. Because that’s all we can do for now.

Making time to take care of myself has been a top priority ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2004. My self-care routine ebbs and flows depending on what’s going on around me and in me. Some days I only need 15 minutes or so to fill my cup first. Sometimes, like most days in September, I needed a lot of time. An hour of yoga in the morning, a 30 minute walk at lunch, and crocheting in the evening. I even needed a long weekend at the beach where I could inhale and exhale the sea.

When I make the time to take care of me, I notice the shift from fatigue to normal energy levels. I feel the sadness lift. I’m better able to release the thoughts around missing out. But the biggest thing I notice is how my husband treats me and cares for me. I’ve taught him how to treat and care for me by how I treat and care for myself.

What about you? What do you notice when you take exquisite care of yourself?

I’m not an afterthought and neither are you.

Self-care isn’t a nice to have – it’s a must have.

Self-care isn’t expensive or time consuming.

Self-care can be as simple as standing in the shower for 5 extra minutes, allowing the hot water to wash over you as you take 20 deep belly breaths.

Self-care can be 2.5 hours on a Thursday night, alone, in your own room, moving mindfully in yin yoga and then relaxing in shavasana for 45 minutes in guided Yoga Nidra meditation.

Self-care is the time and care you make for yourself. After all, if you’re not making the time to take care of you, who will?

Maybe I’ll see you Thursday night in Soul Sleep: A Yoga Nidra and Self-Care Retreat. I hope so.



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