Today I want to tackle a question from a reader.
That question is,
How do I take care of myself?
It’s a simple question, right?
I mean, we all know the importance of shifting our focus off the addict and back on ourselves.
But once we manage that how many of us actually know how to take care of ourselves?
How many of us, after years of losing ourselves in a loved one’s addiction, know how to find ourselves again?
Since this is something I’m always working on, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me take care of me.
And just so you know – self-care isn’t limited or necessary for only loved ones of addicts or alcoholics. It applies to anyone experiencing this crazy thing called life.
After you’ve had a chance to read today’s post, I want to hear from you.
In the comment section, tell me about your self-care practice. Or, what do you dream of doing for yourself? What would your ultimate self-care day look like?
Remember – in this community – your opinion, experiences and insights matter. And you never know who’s going to be inspired by what you share.
Know someone who’d appreciate this post? A friend, family member or co-worker? Share it with them.
Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing.
See you next Tues.
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#1 Turn To The Obvious
Back in the day, I was super resistant to the idea of taking care of myself.
When the idea was first suggested to me by a friend, I thought she was off her rocker crazy.
And given that I felt so resistant and had no idea where to start or what to do with myself, I turned to the obvious.
What’s the obvious? The obvious are things like doctor appointments, dentist appointments, making sure you have clean underwear and doing the dishes.
Now. I’m not talking about your son’s, daughter’s, husband’s or mom’s appointments, I’m talking about yours.
One of the first self-care actions I took for myself was making a gynecologist appointment. I was in my late twenties and I hadn’t been to a gyno in over a decade.
I was waitressing at the time and living in Manhattan so I had little money and no insurance.
I looked up the closest clinic that offered a sliding scale for payment and I made my appointment.
And believe it or not, I felt real proud of myself for making that appointment.
I remember waiting for the train that morning and feeling really good about getting my health in order.
Turning to the obvious, when it comes to taking care of yourself, isn’t glamorous but it can be a great first step on your self-care journey.
#2 Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Now I guess it depends on who you’re talking to but when it comes to self-care bigger isn’t always better.
You don’t have to spend tuns of money or set aside loads of time to show yourself some love.
Back in the day when I had no money and was using nickels and dimes to fill up my gas tank I had to keep things small.
So self-care meant picking up a copy of People Magazine and heading to a coffee shop in my neighborhood.
Or after a therapy session, instead of jumping on the subway to go home I’d walk through Central Park.
Self-care doesn’t have to be this massive show stopping event. But of course, if you have the time and the budget to take a two week cruise around the Caribbean, by all means DO THAT!
Just make sure you send me my ticket!
#3 Party Like It’s Your Birthday
This last tip is all about doing for yourself what you wish others would do for you and transferring that to your self-care practice.
Because my family was often overwhelmed by addiction and other substance related drama I often spent my birthday alone.
For a long time, this made me dread my birthday. But then one year I got smart and decided that if I couldn’t depend on my family to wish me a happy birthday with cake or cards, that I was just gonna do it for myself.
So, from that moment I made it my business to make my birthday special. A couple of weeks before my big day I’d go out and buy myself a card, write myself a little message, pop on a stamp and send it to myself.
One year I even ordered myself flowers and had them delivered on my birthday.
And I continue to do nice, out of the box, kind of things for myself even now when I’m in need of a little TLC.
And remember, you don’t have to wait until your birthday to do something nice for yourself but you can act like it’s your birthday any time of the year.
Look when it comes to self-care there are no rules. There isn’t a certain amount of money you need to spend or a specific amount of time you need to take. Like Nike, you just need to do it.