I wrote a version of this blog four years ago and a lot has changed. And at the same time . . . not a lot has changed! Funny how that happens. Four years ago I felt the same way about self-care as I do today about Self-Love: it's absolutely key if one is to be happy, joyous, and of use to those we love. I hope you benefit from this updated, gentle reminder of ways that you can (& must!) nurture your heart and soul.
I didn’t drive home for Christmas this year; 2017 was a remarkably challenging year, and when December 23 arrived and I was faced with a six-hour trek past Toronto, coupled with daunting weather watches and snow squalls, I just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t an easy choice; staying in Ottawa would mean disappointing family and disrupting some cherished traditions. But it would also mean a handful of desperately needed, sinfully antiquated, schedule-free days of rest. The lure of the latter won out, plain and simple.
If you’ve travelled by plane, you’re probably familiar with the inflight announcements: “In case of emergency,” the script reads “ . . . Oxygen masks will drop down in front of you. Please pull the mask down toward your face and place the mask over your mouth and nose. If you are travelling with a child, please attend to yourself first. . .”
This bears repeating: “If you are travelling with a child, please attend to yourself first.”
For what reason would we be instructed, even if travelling with a child, to attend to our own safety first? Is it because we’re on vacation and selfishness is the rule? Of course not. We help ourselves first because we are no good to anyone else if we’re starving for oxygen. Conversely, when we are breathing deeply, when we are calm and clear-headed, the number of people we can help is immeasurable.
Here are 14 updated and (still) simple ways to practice self-love:
Sip tea and stare out the window (focus not on one's To-Do list)
Cuddle your furry kid
Write a letter
Repeat an uplifting mantra
Sit by the fire and read a good book
Take a walk with a friend
Do gentle or restorative yoga!