I choose to do some self care by receiving a deep tissue massage today. Now many of you may be thinking “Oh how nice, a spa day. What a nice way to treat yourself.”
I used to believe that massages were something to be indulged in once in a while as a nice, relaxing treat. But after suffering a debilitating bout of muscle spasms in my neck a few years ago I have come to realize a different truth.
Massage for me is a necessary part of taking care of myself.
Because guess what my friends?
Self Care is Not a Luxury Item
I know this can be a hard motto to live by.
As a woman, a mom, and a type A responsible overachiever, I tend to put others needs before myself. There is making sure the fridge is full of food that then has to be cooked and served and cleaned up. There is laundry to do and errands to run. There is work and carpool and volunteer responsibilities. There is cleaning up after the dog . . . again.
Who has time to do anything for themselves?
But when I ignore my body’s needs long enough, it starts speaking louder so it can be heard.
Maybe my neck will spasm. Maybe I’ll get a monster sinus infection. Maybe the panic attacks will return.
Someway, somehow, our bodies will let us know they need rest and care.
At some point while waiting in a doctor’s office to heal my body’s latest cry for help, I realized I had two options. I could either continue having semi annual medical issues that ended in me loosing at least a couple weeks of productivity and paying hefty medical fees,
Or I could choose to put in a little time and money on a regular basis to take care of myself. And if I took care of myself well enough, I wouldn’t keep pushing my body to the breaking point.
So I started eating better most of the time. I started exercising a couple times a week. I get monthly massages. I make sure I have a few hours a week where I can come away from my family and work responsibilities and REST.
I am by no means taking perfect care of my middle aged body. But I am trying to do better at self care. And knock on wood, it seems to be helping.
Since making the commitment to self care I have been to the doctor less, been more productive, and had a better overall mood.
There are times when I am tempted to backslide. When I recently looked at our bills for the month and saw how much money I was spending on massages and the gym, much less how much it costs to buy healthy food for 4 people at the grocery store, I was tempted to cut something out.
The Type A momaholic in me said, “Oh, I don’t have to pay for that gym membership and trainer. I can just exercise at home.”
But then I had to remind myself that spending money on self care is not the same as spending 4 bucks on a latte. It is not wasteful spending.
Because even though cutting the gym membership would save time and money, I would still lose out. For in my heart I know I won’t exercise at home without that appointment with the trainer. Instead I would find a million other things to do. And when I have an appointment with a trainer I keep it, because, well, I am a type A overachiever who wants to make my trainer happy.
But putting in a good workout away from home makes my body and mind happy too. So I’ll keep paying that monthly bill knowing the time and energy I spend on taking care of myself is a wise investment.
Because when I care for my body, mind, and spirit I am at my best. And that is a gift I can’t put a price on.
What does your body, mind, and spirit need to be your best?
How can you commit to one act of self care to nurture those needs?
Feel free to share your best tips below!
Be Good to Yourself!