Okay, people, let’s see a show of hands. Who here takes time to relax and care for themselves on a regular basis? The Universe just reminded me this weekend, of how important it is to take care of myself. Apparently, I needed to be reminded, because I have been working a lot (too much, really!) and not doing much to take care of my own self. My reminder came in the form of an unexpected, severe, stabbing, intense pain in my right shoulder. Not a good thing for a busy massage therapist!
This subject comes up a lot with clients in my treatment room. Why do we, especially us women, feel guilt over taking care of our sacred selves?? So many women I encounter actually think it’s selfish to do basic, caring things for themselves. Selfish?!? Really? WHY??? Why do we think it’s selfish to take good care of our own selves?? Our modern society with all its conveniences certainly makes our world productive, but in a crazy, ridiculously fast paced, stress filled way. We not only work, we also cook, clean, do the laundry, walk the dog, take the kids to soccer or ballet… we are so overloaded with activity, and so busy doing for everyone else, by the time we have ANY time to ourselves, we find ourselves passed out on the couch watching whatever show on Nickelodeon the kids picked, instead of recharging our own batteries!
So, I’m here to tell you, it’s totally OK to take care of yourself. You have permission to nurture yourself! It’s not only OK, it’s completely vital to take care of yourself! Doing something just for you, or putting yourself first for a few minutes, is NOT selfish! (Well, unless you neglect everything and everyone else or do things at the expense of others.. that is NOT what I’m talking about here…) Does the fireman put on his own mask first, before he can help others? YES! Does the flight attendant tell you to put the oxygen mask on first, before you help the dude next to you? YES! Taking care of yourself FIRST enables you to better take care of others. It reduces your stress level. It keeps you healthy and mentally calm, which will ultimately keep you movin’ and groovin’. In my case, my reminder came in the form of a shoulder issue. Why? Because I work on a lot of clients, but I wasn’t getting worked on myself. I forgot (or really, neglected) to take time for myself. Boy, did I ever get that message loud and clear!
Does taking care of yourself have to be expensive or time-consuming? Nope, not at all! A simple bubble bath at the end of the day can do wonders to restore your spirit and help you relax. Don’t y’all sleep better when you’re relaxed at the end of the day? I know I do. What if you had a massage regularly? (Obviously, I’m fond of and partial to massage, because it’s what I do, but if massage isn’t your thing, there are a gagillion other things you can do for yourself.) How about a pedicure? How about a nice walk outside? Or maybe your favorite cup of herbal tea? Maybe turn off the TV and put on some music you love. Perhaps a delicious spritz of a heavenly aromatherapy mist in the air. However you choose, find simple ways and take the time to honor yourself every day. It’s truly good for your body, mind, and soul.
As for me, I will be honoring myself this week with massage for ME, and some serious chiropractic attention. And definitely some bubble bath time, and maybe even a pedicure, too. I needed that reminder! (Hey, thanks, Universe!) Is it selfish of me to go get a massage when I am in pain? No, it’s not. So why does society seem to treat massage as a luxury when someone is not in pain, when it’s such a great stress reliever and mental and physical rejuvenator? Weird, right?
Never again think of massage, or any other nurturing self-care ritual, as a luxury or as a selfish act. And please, do NOT let the Universe tap you on the shoulder as it did me (literally!!) to remind you to take care of your beautiful self. Massage, and any other self-care, nurturing thing you do, is mental, emotional, and spiritual rejuvenation! So, go take good care of you. It’s really OK! And, you deserve it!