Self-Care Sunday: Indulging in the little things
I was taking four grad courses (14 hours just for class time), working two different internships (15 to 20 hours), and working up to three jobs (40 hours), on top of being engaged in a long-distance relationship—all miraculously without caffeine!
Even in the midst of the craziness I frequently made time to rest, even if it was just for a half-day during the week. At some points during that time I managed to have bouts of morning meditation. I honestly believed that those things are what prevented me from burning out sooner. But after three years of my crazy schedule, 2012 was the end of it all.
After burning the candle at both ends my flame was extinguished; I was left with nothing—no energy—I was perpetually exhausted and I would sleep for hours and never be refreshed; no relationship—I had broken my engagement and ended a three year relationship; no classes—I had failed a couple of courses (the first time in my life) and completely withdrawn from grad school—and I hardly had any support. I had hit an all-time low.
Learning to say no
Fast forward three years to today. While I have my bouts of fatigue, my commitments for the most part can be limited to one hand. I restrain myself from offering anyone help in the projects, organizations etc. When I don't have the energy to clean I don't. If I don't have the energy to cook I do a crock pot dish. When people try to rope me into helping them, I offer them a firm "no." When they ask subsequent times, my answer is still "no."
As a policer of self-care, I am probably as much of an offender as I am an advocate. However I still push through my guilt and often resistance to rest. As a result my pace of life has slowed down tremendously, and so has my stress level. I still feel weary and on occasion still have a tendency to over-commit myself.
The guilt of relaxing
It is a constant struggle, learning how to simply be, live, breath and simply exist by taking a break from our constant doing. Take last week for example. I spent 1.5 hour soaking my feet with one of my milk and honey foot soak. It was a struggle sitting still so I played the latest episode of my favorite TV show in order to relax. My feet literally felt like they were on clouds for hours afterward. In addition, I was also in a better state of mind when I went to work later that day. If I felt like that after a simple foot soak, imagine what a bath would do!!!
In my self-care quest, it never occurred to me that I could achieve similar results of euphoria from skin care as I can from meditation or other acts of self-care. A simple 90 minutes out of my day changed my whole attitude. Sometimes we neglect the ability of small things to enhance our lives, our attitudes, and over all health. When we neglect self-care we are in danger of burning out and jeopardizing our health. Self-care can be between a matter of life and death. It is a critical component of our longevity that is overlooked.
How do you practice self-care?
Give yourself a little TLC by check out our foot soak here: https://www.thebodybuffet.com/products/spa-foot-soak-vegan-olive-oil-oat-milk-treat-yourself-free-shipping-unisex
The Body Buffet creates handmade artisan soap, shampoo, conditioners, spa bars, beard care, body wash and more for Baltimore, the DMV, and beyond. We have been creating conditioning skin-loving, hair-loving, since 2009. Visit our shop at www.thebodybuffet.com. Marquita Johl is the soaper-in-chief and a self-care advocate. She has been crafting soap for eleven years.