Handle with Care

If I were an item of clothing with my own ‘care instructions’ tag, it would probably read something like this:

“regularly moisturize with kind words, feed daily doses of chocolate, exert gentle, routine exercise, and maintain healthy diet for happy demeanor.”

Yes, I’m aware of what I need. But do I do it?

The truth is, though I’d never encourage someone to skip their own self-care needs, I have a nagging voice that says it’s okay to cut corners and put myself in the proverbial drier (because it’s more efficient than the hang-dry I really need.)

I get up early to make my husband his breakfast smoothie, but often I leave myself no time to cook a healthy dinner when I eat it alone.

I urge my friends to plan time to paint or sing to nurture their souls, and yet these items on my list often get shoved to the bottom for “if I have time for it.”

When I hand-wash my sweaters, I’m protecting them from falling apart. The sweaters aren’t “spoiled” by this.

Self-care is mandatory if you don’t want to break down.

(How many times will I tell myself this before it really sinks in?) I’ve had enough break downs to speak as an authority.

Take notes on the things that strengthen and heal you. Plan a self-care routine that doesn’t consume your life. Weekly trips to the day spa probably isn’t sustainable, but a fifteen-minute soak in the tub, might be.

I think it’s time that many of us started reading and applying our ‘care instructions’ tags.

What self-care is your life is missing?

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

Comments

Handle with Care — 4 Comments

    • Thanks, Galit! Now the tricky part if holding ourselves and each other accountable to actually taking care of ourselves (putting on our own oxygen mask before helping others on the airplane is a good analogy!)

    • Thank you, Melissa! Isn’t it easy to justify “efficient” over “healthy”? I want to encourage my friends to get less done in a day, if that’s what it takes to walk with kindness and care for ourselves. Our own well-being isn’t worth the sacrifice.

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