This will be my mantra for the foreseeable future.
Last week at work was pretty rough. The cherry on top of the crapola sundae was going back to work after an unnecessary off-site meeting on Friday morning and having to shelter in place once I got in my building.
Sheltering in place means there is danger in the neighborhood and you have to stay put for your safety. The issue was that it was a workday which meant our students were home. In the community where the danger was.
By the time I got home, I was undone.
I was undone about things I had no control over. I was undone by questionable decision making by people who could make a difference in the lives of children but choose to turn a blind eye to their needs and keep on keepin’ on because…well, I wish I knew.
I needed for my actions this weekend to be deliberate, intentional and to help me refuel so I can be what I need to be for my students this week.
You know, that self-care thing I always talk about.
So I did the following (and not in any particular order):
1. I talked it out with people I trust and love. People who did not try to fix a situation there was no fix for. They just let me ramble and they listened. I got it out. I cried and was able to clear my head enough to move forward.
2. I created. Okay, it was batches of soup from recipes but I was able to start something and finish it. In my line of work, you don’t often get to see the fruits of your labor. This weekend, I needed to see results.
3. I went to church. Connecting with others in community and focusing on good made my heart happy and helped me realize that I am not alone on this spinning rock.
4. I did something I’ve never done before and I wasn’t terrible at it.
5. I went for a walk on the beach with my husband. Exercise, nature, and connection all wrapped up into one beautiful package.
One of the things I’ve come to realize over the years is that I can’t be who or what I need to be for my kiddos if I’m not healthy in body, mind, and spirit. That’s why I write most mornings and really truly hope somebody gets something out of it.
It’s part of my own self-care.
What I know in my heart is that self-care is not selfish.
It’s self-preservation. It’s crucial to your health and your ability to serve others while not losing yourself in the mix.
Self-care is loving yourself enough to know what you need and ask for it. It’s making time to do what’s best for you, not settling for the scraps.
It is strength. It is caring. It is love. It is intentional. It is deliberate. It is necessary.
Today I go back into battle, renewed, strengthened and confident. This afternoon, I will make time for me to get some exercise, read a little and eat some of that delicious nutritious soup I created on Saturday.
What does your self-care plan look like for the week? If you haven’t created it, take five minutes to sit down and map out a little you time. Be deliberate. Be intentional. And be okay knowing that it is necessary to be the best you, you can be.