Happy Almost Fall Tribe,
For many of us Fall is back to school time, whether you are a student, parent or a faculty/ staff member at a school or university. For me, late August and early September is a time to think retrospectively about the previous year, both professionally and personally, and make concrete decisions on ways to improve my life during this school year. I decided that this year, is my year of radical and rebellious self-care, where I put myself before all else.
Why Rebellious Self-Care?
Because… As a society, we are told to put our careers, families, and (fill in anything else here) first, before we take care of ourselves. We are taught that self-care is limited to two places in our lives: 1) As a luxury, or as 2) Reactionary Recovery for when we are amid crisis or after the fact.
I call BULLSHIT!
SELF-CARE is for every day. It is preventative care, the oxygen mask that keeps us sane, productive, happy and functional.
Not only is Back-To-School the craziest time of year for me professionally but the past two weeks have literally been political hell: Trump is repealing DACA, North Korea is testing hydrogen bombs, Hurricane Harvey is out here wiping out whole towns in Texas, Trump is preparing to withdraw from free-trade in South Korea. I mean, every day the world feels like it’s ending.
Although I was fazed by these overwhelming events, I was not defeated by them nor did I feel the need to call in “human” to work every time I read my politics feed.
Why Not? I had a self-care plan in place so that after my two weeks of professional and political hell, I could rejuvenate myself before the stress could truly build-up and set my school-year off to the wrong start.
Pre-scheduling my personal days and/or vacation days. I anticipated when my most stressful weeks would be and pre-planned self-care day, before the fact. Every day, if anything went wrong or I felt overwhelmed or exhausted, I had a little secret to look forward to — my planned self-care weekend extravaganza.
I thought I would share what that my pre-planned self care weekend often looks like.
SELF CARE Weekend SCHEDULE:
Labor Day Weekend: Invited friends over for a sleepover to play games, drink wine and catch up.
Labor Day: Fruit and Veggie picking at the local Farm, afternoon of chic-fil-a, shopping and ice-cream with family and friends.
Labor Day Evening: Begin preparing for radical self-care day by cleaning my house, doing laundry and meal-prepping a big delicious, nutritious meal to last a few days. Lemon chicken, mushroom pilaf, sauteed veggies, and grilled salmon. (I do this for two reasons, I can’t truly relax or self-care if my house is a mess and I did not want to take time away from my self-caring to cook.)While dinner was cooking, I reviewed, wrote and pre-scheduled any work emails that I knew would need to be sent out the next day.
SELF CARE DAY SCHEDULE:
10:30am- Wake up and do a little in bed stretching and meditation
11:00am- Lit some candles for a Luxurious shower and hair wash. Oil my scalp and deep condition my hair
12:00pm- Make and eat delicious yogurt bowl
12:30pm- Casually finish folding laundry while watching Master Chef
1:15pm- Read for fun and write this article
3:00pm- Core workout and stretching
4:15pm- Deep tissue massage and body scrub
( Note : I have a massage fund that I save up $10 every two weeks or so for when I do need an emergency massage. There’s money already available.)
7:00pm- Warm and eat delicious dinner that I prepped the night before while watching Weeds
8:00pm- Sensual bath with candles
10:00pm- Hop into bed, do some light reading before bed
10:45- 15 minute guided meditation for deep sleep
11:00pm- Lights out
Self- care days do not have to be expensive. Many of these activities require light planning and can be replaced with more affordable options such as self-massage or massage with a partner.
Your body, and your mental health is important. Put them first. You are worthy of self love. Don’t wait till you are stressed to take care of yourself. By then, it’s often too late and waiting makes the events harder to enjoy.