Self-Care Challenge Much More Than I thought it would be.
I was challenged a month ago to a Self-Care daily post for 30 Days. I jumped into it thinking I would be able to share with the group, where it originated, all the cool stuff I use and do for myself. I kind of feel like I have a unique spin on these things aiming my approaches to organic and all natural self-care products. What I didn’t realize is that there were many days, even when I was intentionally trying to commit self-care, that I had no time to do anything but shower and rush through the day. For those days I had to forgive myself and just move on, hey that’s life. What was surprising to me was how much my self-care evolved into more internal and emotional care rather than physical self-care. I guess my physical self-care just wasn’t where I needed to focus. Ironically, in the end, the biggest decision about my physical self-care occurred during these 30 days. I’ll get to that…
I skipped a few days, for lack of anything creative to post. I found myself in my normal fall clean up-and-out of my home, but for some reason it became this deep cleanse and nesting. I cleaned out the guest bedroom so my husband could have a remote office space. My hope chests are in there, my boxes of memorabilia, my boxes of holiday cards and personal letters, my old artwork from school, my photographs, and albums. I realized on day three of practically living in that tiny room that I stored my history, my memories and essentially my previous life in that room. I found myself laughing and crying and just deep in my memories for several days, it was a strange and cathartic event. I’m so glad I did it. It wasn’t even difficult; it was just really interesting to dig through my life in such a tangible way.
Also, during this time came the anniversaries of my sister’s death, my very good friend in high school’s death, my surrogate grandmother’s death, and my real grandmother’s death. I was completely accepting and okay on these days to embrace myself and just be kind to myself for where I was…it was a beautiful version of self-care.
I collected most of the journey with the associated pictures and posted them here for you to see in one space. This is a long post scan or read through your choice. Some of the journey I deleted the days, as I noticed some people couldn’t respect my space about it or they were overwhelmingly sympathetic, when that wasn’t the space I was really even in or asking for that kind of attention. For me when I deal with my life, I examine my hang-ups, I heal my hurts, and I deeply ingrain and integrate healing all the way to my cells. I need no sympathy for my memories or feelings or any of it really. At a certain point, I was thinking I would quit because I wasn’t sure anyone cared to keep up with me, when I got an email from a friend that said, “Where are your Self-care posts?” I genuinely found myself committed to this and wanting to share my experiences even if it was just a cup of coffee for the day…
First thing this morning I realized how dry my face was so I grabbed my argan oil and gave my face a healthy dose.
Something wasn’t right with my coffee today so I dumped it during the second cup and hit the water. Have a great day everyone.
Day 2 of 30 Days of Self-care: This weekend is a celebration of lives. 28 years ago today my sister left this planet very suddenly in an unexplainable car accident. 8 years later a lovely boy took his life. It was one of the worst moments of my life as I know it was for his mother and sister as well. We thought we were going to be together forever…but we couldn’t keep it together. Although my love changed, I never ever stopped loving him. I knew he wasn’t going to be here long, I just knew, and having that knowing verified busted my heart into a million pieces that day 20 years ago. Usually today, my self-care is to take my mom up to the mountain where we spread my sister’s ashes. We go up with a beer, French fries and something chocolate…to celebrate her. I couldn’t go this year as I normally do…so in my heart this weekend I’m on that mountain. One of his favorite places too and where all my family ashes are…my ancestral and sacred ground.
Please do not send me sympathy. I truly celebrate. No sorries, or apologies, and no loss…they are my angels.
Day 3 of 30 Days of Self-Care: Thank you everyone for all the love and holding space for my open heart this weekend. I took the post down as they are my family and I want to respect that. Day 3 is simple, I do my cardio row on Sundays. So today, I got my row on. Works everything. Awesome.
Day 4 of 30 Days of Self-Care: Took the yoga outside today. It was simply the perfect temperature. The sky was a crisp beautiful New Mexico blue. And super bonus, I had a little help from my fur babies.
Day 5 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I’m having one of those days. Self-care is going to take second fiddle to laundry, cleaning out the guest bedroom, office work, still in my pajamas, just now having food kind of days. The one where the plan was simple but then thirteen other things interrupted it. Anyway, so that’s where I come to my point…this is something I have every day in a whey protein shake to make sure I get all my nutrients and super powers. This Superfood from greens+ is amazing and I’ve been using their products since they first came into the general market. Daily self-care every day! Hug someone today. It’s Monday. LOL
Day 6 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I’ve been cleaning all morning, just the regular stuff sinks, bedding, and bathrooms. Didn’t think I would post about Self-Care today as this is the one day of the week I just “get ‘er done”. Anyway, I did my end-of-the-summer culling from my closet, and realized it felt really good to lighten the load and donate it all to the women’s shelter.
Rumi said, “A messy house is a messy mind.” So self-care today was cleansing mind and house and closet.
Here is my fast method for culling unused clothes. I rotate my closet with cool weather and warm weather clothes. I bin all the clothes for the off-season, so when I go to hang them up I put the hanger backwards on the rod, if I use the clothing I hang it with the hanger in the correct direction, if at the end of the season the hanger is still backwards out it goes. (If you do not rotate your seasonal wear, just pick one day at the start of the season to turn all the hangers the wrong direction and next season cull out what didn’t get rotated.) Unless, it is an item I love, and just didn’t have the opportunity to wear (dressy or whatever). Anyway…look at all the space I made today.
If you are all getting sick of these let me know and I will quit posting.
Day 7 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I’ve had a wonderful day visiting with my mom, colored her hair for her ten-day trip, she gave me a cranial because I’m on my worst day of the month. Endometriosis and adhesions suck. Anyway, just a day I have to chill and relax and listen to my body’s need to rest.
Day 8 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I’m gonna give you my top priorities of what I focus on for daily wellness.
In no particular order….
- NOW: My most effective cure of panic/anxiety attacks…Living in the Now. Tomorrow is an illusion and yesterday is gone.
- NUTRITION: Supplements catered to my specific health needs. There is no one size fits all. My favorite now for overall support is Great Lakes Collagen. Limiting medications and over the counter drugs to absolute bare minimum. Antibiotics have to be the last possible solution…once you upset the gut balance it can take years to correct it.
- MOVE: any way I can that works for me and where I am that day, it might be 40 squats, or a full row on my water rower, or yoga, or dancing. Whatever the movement if you don’t like it you won’t do it.
- ZEN: anything that supports my spiritual self, that may mean just total focus on one task at a time, meditation, yoga, loving on my fur babies, or time in nature.
- CREATIVITY: expressing myself through my art forms allows me to be calm, and is truly a meditation as I lose myself to the art.
- NOURISHMENT: Eating the best possible quality foods I can afford, organic, grass fed, non-GMO, gluten-free, low sugar to no sugar, and plenty of pure filtered water.
- EDUCATION: Learn, read, and broaden the mind.
- LOVE: making sure I share my love, and pay attention and acknowledge the love that is offered to me.
- LAUGH: every day as hard as possible. Have fun.
- FAMILY: which are my husband, my two shih tzus, and my mom. They are all I’ve got in this little world.
- NO EXPLANATION NECESSARY: I live my life as free of excuses and explanations as I can. I do what I need to do to survive this thing called life and I won’t explain myself or feel guilty about how I have to do so.
- KINDNESS: Sprinkle that everywhere!!!!!
Day 9 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I groomed the dogs. So mostly today wasn’t about me in any way. They are cute though and that makes me happy. I am still not feeling a 100% from this week so I’ve spent the rest of the day, resting, mostly. Also wrote a piece for a group as they are up in a roar about something simple and I just get frustrated watching people in their fear and judgment get all goofy.
Lesson for today: education alleviates fear.
My husband is an educator in his reserves job and he teaches first response for certain situations. I asked him how do they teach for handling fear in emergency response situations. He said EDUCATION.
Also, I’m reading Rising Strong and loving it. It says it all on the cover: “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This is a book about what it takes to get back up.” I need to get back up again…hope I find some inspiration.
Day 12 of 30 Days of Self-Care: this one is interesting, or at least to me. I’ve been cleaning out the guest bedroom because my husband is needing space for a remote home office for work. Last night we got him a desk and I realized there was way too much “me” in this space. This morning I started at the top of the closet, which is where I had a shelf full of photo boxes with photos and cards in them. Two boxes full of cards.
When I was a kid, I remember going to a friend’s aunt’s house and on the floor she had these huge baskets full of holiday cards. They were every card she had ever received, some of them dating back to the 40’s. I remember thinking I would do the same…so cut to now.
Today my self-care has been a walk down memory lane. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve squinted trying to figure out whose handwriting and signature is on the card. Some of this stuff goes back to at least 1995. I threw a bunch of them away too, as some were just the card that was signed by the last name at Christmas…nothing personal. But I kept all the cards from my mom, some from my dad, and most from family who are deceased. I found that picture of me in the snow 1997 that was around 22 inches of snow. We were moving, to the ranch, which we now have for sale. My hair was almost the longest it ever was there.
The orange envelope cracked me up. More story there! To be sure. I found 15 year-old letters, a stack, from my best friend when I moved away from my home town. I’ve barely spoken with her since she had a baby 3 years ago. I cried through those letters and they were just everyday news nothing even spectacular. Except how desperately we missed each other. Now is worse than then. Anyway, memory lane is an interesting and beautiful drive.
Day 14 of 30 Days of Self-Care: get out into the world.
After a hilarious “loose translation” comment on a post this morning, I realized, I need to get out of the house. I had to think back when was the last time I left the house, and aside for walking next door and babysitting for an hour yesterday it had been four or five days.
I had a $10 reward card for Eddie Bauer. I absolutely do not need to be shopping right now, with Cooper’s next surgery just around the corner. However, with the $10 off, military discount, and an additional 40% off everything in the store, I got two really great fall/winter cotton tops for $35.00.
Sometimes you just need to get out and do something nice for yourself.
THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST ONES:
Day 15 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I sat here this morning thinking about what it would be today and I was reading the post about a boudoir shoot and Photoshopping that was posted yesterday. I was struck by some of the negative self-comments and the comments where I posted it. I feel you, as I myself, have degraded myself for being too heavy, mostly…but my body is fighting a battle right now and I know it is temporary and it has nothing to do with my beauty.
My self-care was this little bit of creative writing to remind us all.
For all of you and for me too…
Our bodies are the sculpture that is our life.
Every curve was a stroke of the creator’s knife.
Every silver strand a swish of the artist’s brush.
Every stretch mark a striation in the alabaster representing layers of time, growth, stress, and joy.
Every other little thing that we find as flaws the sculptor found a way to incorporate into us as a beautiful mark of our own uniqueness.
So you ate to much cake and rounded your figure.
So you drank too much wine and stained your lips.
So you laughed so hard you carved a line forever to mark that day.
So you had babies to carry your uniqueness forward.
And your body is a testimony of greatness.
And you fucking LIVED!
Your body has so much that it does exactly right every day so you can get up and LIVE again!!!!!
You are beautiful and there is way more right with you than there ever will be wrong with you!
Unapologetically Enjoy Your Life.
Day 16 of 30 Days of Self-Care: Mermaid tails and lavender wreaths. Seriously, that was my day, buying yarn and needles and goods for a wreath.
I normally would give away or sell all my lavender from my summer harvest. This year I had a lot of extra so I made this wreath tonight.
Where’s the self-care? I’m loving it and keeping it all for myself.
Day 17 of 30 Days of Self-Care: nothing of great self-care today. I spent some time chatting with my husband and getting some things hammered out for our coming months. Kind of us just catching up and getting on the same page. Feeling tired and drained today, kind of feeling blah. Maybe it was just Sunday, and my mom being here, and just need to finally chill after a long week and weekend, lack of sleep… Today’s a Meh kind of day.
Day 18 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I needed to do oil treatment on my hair today. I’m spending the next hour soaking in all the goodness in Darshana Oil followed with silver shampoo and I’ll post a pic after it all dries later today.
Bonus, they send you a hand written note with your purchase. I love that kind of business. Attention to detail and genuine customer care.
Day 19 of 30 days of Self-Care: chiropractor…that’s that. Got a kink or two or three or ten.
Day 20 of 30 Days of Self-Care: SEPHORA hello baby. I read once that no matter how poor the Mc Graws were Robin would always splurge on her favorite mascara. I have always been the same way about these two products. This is my absolute favorite face cream and foundation.
I think if you find what works for you, you should stick with it, especially when it comes to your facial care.
Day 21 of 30 Days of Self Care: Going to try this new line from Paul Mitchell. Merula oil is supposed to be magical. Let’s cross our fingers shall we. I cannot return it. Will follow up later today when dry and fancy.
By the way, as a true curly girl, I’m always looking for the next best Holy Grail in curl care.
For me it has to meet some great expectations.
2. Generally sulfate free.
4. No frizz allowed.
5. Must create great moisture without over greasy or over dry.
6. Actually work for great curls. I have found in general the more it touts for great curls the less it works for me.
Day 22 of 30 Days of Self-Care: homemade butternut squash soup. This is amazing!
You can find the recipe on my Garlic Allergy The Guidebook Facebook Page
Day 23 of 30 Days of Self-Care: homemade iced espresso with almond milk. I do this almost every day. It is a little thing that brings me joy every day.
I used to be a daily Starbucks customer, and nothing fancy, just iced espresso. Last year I read The BulletProof Diet, he talked about the effects of mold on coffee, and this made me wonder.
I’ve always bought fair trade organic coffee for my home coffee maker but I never thought about what the one-cup at Starbucks might be doing to my delicate stomach.
Anyway, after years of giving up things to better my health I wasn’t willing to give up espresso. So I started buying beans that are high-altitude roasted fresh weekly in Santa Fe, organic and fair trade as well. I got myself a little espresso machine and spent many weeks learning how to make the perfect shots.
I am after all an espresso aficionado. It is a taste I acquired in a real coffee shop with a roastery in the back room. You can’t get fresher than that in the US.
Anyway…anything you continue to do just because it brings you joy?
Day 24 of 30 Days of Self-Care: I totally, did no self-care really today. It was a complete house wifey kind of day. Made some pillows to match our new couch, did the after cleanup in the yard after the husband did the blower and weed pulling, made rice for the dogs for the week…blah blah. Busy productive day but nothing fantastical!!! There’s the cases for the pillows before I stuffed them though, aren’t they pretty?
Day 25 of 30 Days of Self-Care…literally all I could handle today was getting a shower. After my husband scared the sleep out of me at 4:30 this morning to say goodbye before his work trip, it ended up being the only four hours I got, as then one of my dogs has had an upset tummy since about 7:00 this morning. Fun day cleaning her and the yard every two hours or so…with no further ado…I washed my hair today!
Lame I know, but isn’t that the way it goes sometimes? Washing your hair feels like the best self-care, you could have possibly given yourself for the crazy-ass days. Also time for a grow-out up-date. I’m feeling stuck here, I’m sure it is growing as it keeps needing trim maintenance but it kind of looks like it did exactly a month ago. (For those of you who don’t know I am growing out my natural silver hair, also the group I was posting the self-care posts in is a silver sisters group.)
Day 26 of Self-Care: hahaha. What self-care. Day two of very little sleep I’m to the delirious stage. So my only thought today about self-care was skipping it…
Because…you know it’s been a rough day when you’ve had to carry poop in your purse. (You can laugh…I cracked myself up.)
Poor Nina she’s not doing so good but she’s been to the vet and we shall get her on the mend.
Day 27 of 30 Days of Self-Care: always-good advice. Coconut oil is in my arsenal for internal and external self-care. Everyday!!!!!
Day 28 of 30 Days of Self-Care: This one is kind of silly…okay so ignoring the fact that I am severely sleep deprived and makeup-free I had to share this sweatshirt for today’s self-care.
When I was 12, after my sister passed, my mom gave me all her clothes, since it was 1987 colors were intense then. There was this one beautiful electric blue shirt and I absolutely loved it and wore it out. People complimented me a lot when I wore that shirt, and that was a big deal for me back then as I was bullied very much of my school years, so to get a compliment on my appearance was notable.
On my last excursion, for just shopping for me, I bought this shirt. I almost didn’t do it and then I remembered this other shirt of my sister’s. Now that my hair is only half artificial red it will go great with my silvers. So taaadaaa, today was the first coolest day I could wear it. My momma said it’s fabulous. Self-care: buying something out of my norm and enjoying it, and homage to my angel sister.
Day 29 of 30 Days of Self-Care: replaced the holy slippers… Mmmm sheepskin. Need I say more?
Day 30 of 30 Days of Self-Care: as I mentioned above, I made a huge decision about my physical body. This decision involves surgery, and I spent many months deciding and looking for signs as to whether this was what I needed to do for me. With the help of my uber-wonderful husband and my mom, I will have this surgery on the 20th of November. I am manifesting the best possible outcome and the end to many problems that I have had since I was 17. I feel like closing these 30 days out with this decision firmly made and my fears very calmed, a new life will begin for me. That is the power of intention.
I encourage anyone to do a challenge like this; it brings you some personal reflection and self-knowledge. For me, I found while like any girl, I like skin care and hair care and that kind of self-care, balance will be struck if you are willing and open for total mind-body-spirit wellness.