Wednesday, September 13, 2017

50 for 50 day 7: Self Care

This is the 7th of 50 posts leading up to my 50th birthday. You can see them all here.

Someone told me recently that I am a model for good self care. I was stunned. I feel as though I often fail at self care, that you need only look at me to know. Her comment led me to think about how important it is to take care of ourselves and, equally, how part of self care is forgiving ourselves for doing the best we can.

As I approach 50 I hope that I have learned that I must care for myself before I can effectively care for others. This lesson doesn't always hold true - sometimes my own care must come second - but in general I know I will be better able to write, tell, create, love, live if I take care of myself. I've also learned that sometimes self-care means not trying to engage in self care. After Kevin died I watched hundreds of hours of River Monsters. That may not have looked like self care from the outside, but it was the best I could do.

Self care is more than pedicures and baths. It's knowing when to say "no" and knowing when to ask again. It's knowing how I respond to difficult situations and taking steps for recovery afterwards. It's asking for accepting help, even when I don't want to. Sometimes it's Godzilla movies. And sometimes it's just taking a deep breath before moving onto the next thing.

There is a lot of jargon and privilege-speak around self care. All we can do is the best we can.

I'd love to know how you care for yourself and what pitfalls you know to watch out for. Maybe we can help each other be a little more tenderly cared for.

(c)2017 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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