Self-Care: Acceptable and Necessary
Last updated: January 2023
For me, self-care was never a thought. I was so caught up in taking care of everyone around me that taking care of myself was relegated to having hot coffee and dry boots. For years I have cut my hair with clippers because it was more efficient.
Putting our needs front and center seems selfish and needy for so many of us. But then cancer; cancer changes everything. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, nothing seems the same. So much of what we held as solid and immovable is suddenly shaken and shifted.
Now is the time to rethink self-care. Today, wherever you are and whatever is going on for you. Taking care of yourself is not only acceptable, but it is also necessary and in your best interest. Slowing down and deciding what you need and what serves you.
Take a moment and get a warm beverage. It is autumn in Indiana and a perfect time for hot tea. We found a bourbon tea that is amazing. You may be a tea drinker, or perhaps coffee is what warms your mug.
Cider or hot cocoa? Find your cozy slippers, and then come back.
No need to be extravagant
Here you are. Let's talk about self-care. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Maybe you have a special lotion you have been saving. Use it!
Is there a book you have been dying to read? Maybe a TV show you like but do not take the time to enjoy? What about a hobby you used to enjoy but have let fall away as you were too busy?
Venturing for a pedicure
For years my wife tried to get me to get a pedicure. Swore it would make my feet feel amazing. I made all manner of excuses. The truth is I just did not want to take the time.
Even more embarrassing to admit, I thought it was not a thing men did. Finally, I gave in and went. Now I make my appointments. It is a small way to break out of my preconceived notions and take care of myself. Afterward, my feet feel brand new, and I am so relaxed. Amazing!
I have also found some hand lotion that keeps my hands from cracking and burning in the cold winters or being so dry they bleed in the hot summers. Another small indulgence in taking care of myself.
Naps for the win
My final act of self-care is napping. I leave for work at 12:30 in the morning 6 days a week. I make my first run and then drive to my second stop. At the second stop, I have taken to having a nap, 30 to 45 minutes, and then I am ready for the rest of the day.
I could push through and keep going. I would get off earlier and get home sooner. But that short break, that time just for me, changes my outlook for the rest of the day.
Self-care is as unique as you
I challenge you to find ways to take care of yourself. Whatever that may look like for you. A walk or a fishing trip. A visit to a favorite garden or reading that book.
Your treatment plan and doctor appointment will be there when you return to the daily grind. The difference will be in how you feel when self-care. The world will continue humming right along. Self-care is choosing the tune you hum while the world spins around you.
Has cancer impacted your mood during the holidays?