This post is about self-care.
About the realization that when it comes to self-care, wondering whether something is “worth it” can differ from person to person.
Let me explain.
I reached a major personal ah-hah moment when attempting to decide whether using up my much awaited Mother’s Day gift (worth $75 for hanging around in pools and saunas at the local spa) was worth it when I can only get away for 4 hours.
What I realized was that whether or not a certain activity is worth a certain dollar value, must have different criteria depending on who you are talking about.
Someone with a bit more free time or ability to get away from it all might say “oh well sure, $75 + $15 for a robe is totally worth it if you could spend all day there!”.
That led me to question whether it was worth it if I can only spend three hours there, and then add to that an unexpected hour and a half wait to get in…
You end up questioning whether the money could be better spent elsewhere, whether your partner should have gone instead of you where the whole day could have been used, whether you should have waited yet another 6 months until you could perhaps leave for much longer.
But in a moment of clarity, in a steamy, low visibility, eucalyptus infused sauna, you hear your own voice in your head, so clear, so sure, saying:
“But wait…I’m worth it too”
Given my current reality of having a nursling at home, my personal definition of it being worth spending $75 to enjoy the saunas and pools, is enjoying them for a few hours. That is the level that is worth it to me right now. This has nothing to do with value, or money. In fact, money can be tight, and a mother’s day gift can sit unused for half of a year….so this isn’t to say that this money is just lying around to be wasted.
But just because I can’t enjoy it all day, or for even half of the day, that doesn’t mean I do not deserve to enjoy it at all.
We have to learn to shift our perception of our own worth and to change the definition for each activity, for each scenario, for each person.
Calling ahead numerous times to plan what time to arrive at, arriving before they said it would be busy and still having an unexpected hour and a half wait, trying to go for lunch and there being a 40 minute wait and not having time, trying to get a robe and them being “all out of robes at the moment”, this all could add up to ruining someone’s very special day.
“This is all I get! I only get three hours here because it’s a half an hour drive both ways, that’s four hours away, I didn’t bring my pump, I didn’t leave milk, now I only get an hour to enjoy it, I’m starving, I can’t even get in to the restaurant, THIS ISN’T WORTH $75!!”
But the smarter, wiser, more kind to myself version of me screams:
and replaces all of that negativity with:
“I. Am. Worth. It. Too.”
What changed it for me was setting intention and purpose. I went to enjoy some detoxification while I was on a new eating protocol attempting to heal some family health difficulties. I was a week in and proud of myself for working very hard at it. So I finally made time to cash in my 6 month old Mother’s Day gift, with the intention of boosting my detox.
So when I realized I only had an hour and a half I had to shift my intention, set my purpose to truly be present in every moment and meet my goals.
“I’m still doing three cycles, through the heat and cold and the relax. I have a half hour per cycle”.
I set my purpose each time in the sauna and in the first cycle my only goal was to sweat, so higher and higher up I moved, until I finally figured out where I had to be in order to try to sweat out some toxins.
In the second sauna I brought my goal instead to being thankful for my body and helping me through this detox, thanking my organs, each one after the other. This type of consciousness about what my body was doing was highly mindful and felt wonderful.
Finally in the third cycle is when it hit me in this moment of clarity that no matter how short my visit, I still was able to feel renewed, over and over again.
Time didn’t matter.
That yearning, a feeling of wishing I could take advantage of the biggest possible day, didn’t matter anymore.
Letting my mind race with schemes of how to pass my bracelet off to my husband so he could come back and “make it worth it”.
Or picturing how to drive a half an hour home and nurse my babe and then drive back for another half an hour to enjoy another few hours to “make it worth it”, vanished.
In that moment my mind finally quieted.
“I. Am. Worth. It. Too.”
Just to enjoy the full possibility of the day, no longer mattered, all I heard in that moment and we all need to work towards hearing more often is…
“Despite it all going wrong, I. Am. Still. Worth. It.”
This is what my day had for me. I decided I was going to make the best of it despite it being short, despite all the noise coming my way.
Earlier that morning, sitting in the infinity pool during one of my relax phases, I enjoyed people watching groups of women in their 50s and 60s, glass of wine in their hands, full of laughter. I envisioned enjoying that stage in my life where I didn’t worry about the little people I left behind at home. But in the exact same moment I felt “I don’t want to rush a thing”. I know that I will be them one day.
With purpose, I hope we can all hear that we are still worth it no matter what.
Please, please, practice self-care. No matter how big or small.
I came home that day with such a full cup, mentally and physically detoxed, so happy, so thankful.
Self-care is so beautiful it shocks me that I am so bad at making time for it for myself when it is so therapeutic and renewing.
I have read many posts lately criticizing the new trend of “self-care”, labeling it just another thing mothers can fail at, and equating it only to instagram worthy pedicure dates or full on girls nights out. I’m writing this point of view to remind us to be conscious of finding some self-care once in a while, even if as small as a warm mug of tea that makes us feel joy, and most importantly, to know that we are worth it. We define our own self-care, it isn’t a goal to achieve for anyone else but ourselves. We are bad at prioritizing ourselves sometimes but it is so worth it as the end result is often us feeling so healthy, happy, and better able to give to those we so want to feel full enough to give to. Our cup is full, so we can.
“When we nurture others from a place of fullness, we feel renewed instead of taken advantage of. And they feel renewed, too, instead of guilty.” – Jennifer Louden, The Woman’s Comfort Book