Hello Friends! In case you didn’t know (because I for sure had no idea until I saw Johnathan Van Ness’ Instagram post), today is International Self-Care Day!!! *Cue Air Horns*
What does this mean, you might be asking. Well, lucky for you, I did a little internet sherlocking to find out the origins of this wondrous holiday. Basically, ISD was developed by the International Self-Care Foundation to raise “the profile of healthy lifestyle self-care programs around the world” (International Self-Care Day – ISF). In short, today is a day that allows us to have the conversations that sometimes feel falsely narcissistic.
In one of my recent posts, I mentioned that I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. Since it is a hormonal disorder that interplays heavily with the body’s response system, the only “cure” for PCOS is truly self care. There is no magic pill or treatment that makes the disease go away, and there are barely treatments for the symptoms themselves. So, truly, the only way to minimize the affects of PCOS in your life is to intentionally practice self care in a multitude of ways.
For me, this means spending a couple hours in the gym every morning before ever getting ready for work. I meal prep every week and watch my macros while I test out new nutritional plans per my nutritionalist’s recommendations. I make sure to get six-eight hours of sleep a night, which usually means sacrificing time with friends because I have to wake up so early in the morning. PCOS is so tied to your diet and lifestyle, that every decision I make about maintaining the health of my body has a dramatic effect on my wellbeing. On one of the PCOS forums, one woman summarized it as succinctly as: “You can decide between eating a chocolate chip cookie or having a child one day.”
But, once a week I take the time to set aside a day, or at the very least, a few hours, to #Treatmyself. I put on a face mask, drench my hair in conditioners and coconut oil to keep it healthy and stimulate those follicles with a lil head massage, I whiten my teeth, and I let myself read a book with no obligations. It’s my “Self-Care Sunday.”
I think that in today’s world it can be so easy to be caught up in the busy-ness. As a bibliophile, I am constantly hungry for the intake of words, but I feel guilty for taking the time to read a book thats not related to my studies or my job. And when I put that face mask on, I feel lazy laying in bed to read for thirty minutes.
But lets just stop those gremlins right there.
If I know one thing to be true, it is this cliche piece of wisdom: You can’t help others until you help yourself.
If I am constantly sprinting around putting 110% into every activity I do–whether that is work, relationships, etc.–I never have the time to recharge my batteries.
In the faith community we have a word for that: Sabbath.
And I would be confident in saying that it is the most forsaken commandment. In our culture of go-go-go and “stay-busy-to-numb-reality” the prospect of rest can be more of a task than anything. I mean, when you have a thousand voices in your head telling you you aren’t good enough, why would you want to take a second to be alone with those?
The entire point of self-care is taking a breath to beat back the noise that is trying to silence you. Within all of us, I am convinced, there is a world changer waiting for the permission to be released. Maybe that is my extreme optimism, or maybe that is humanity at its core–we are a people that were designed for greatness but we’ve let ourselves become so dictated by perceptions that we’ve looked outward instead of inward for solutions.
What would it mean if we decided that we would be disciplined enough to take a day a week to just slow down?
I think, just like the ISF believes, it might actually change the way that we live, and by extension, change the world.
Right now I am reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly which is all about shame resilience and vulnerability, and the biggest research point that she continues to drive home is the idea that shame thrives in isolation. When we are a part of culture that constantly heaps guilt and shame onto us for not fitting a “standard” we have to root out the noise with something.
So I challenge you all to do just one thing today to treat yourself!
This is the only life you get to lead here on this earth, so have the compassion to let yourself live it to the best of your ability and recognize that that starts with taking care of the very vessel you live your life every day in.
For my self care day I will be finishing my book & meeting up with some friends for a drink because its also International Tequila Day 😉
Until next time, wonder on! xoxo