A struggle I’ve had for much of my life has been the fight with the concept of self-care. I love taking time to do nice things for myself, but the hard thing about real self-care is this: the times you need it most are the times when it is the hardest thing carve out time for it.
Oddly enough it was during graduate school that I realized just how important it is. Because my grad school was a seminary there was a mix of academic study and pastoral care of others. Here’s the thing, though. You can’t care for others when you aren’t caring for yourself.
You can’t fill someone else’s cup if your pitcher is empty.
I’ve had this reinforced to me over, and over, and over again. I knew that, eventually, someday, it would sink in…
I just had no idea that the way it would sink in was through nail-care. Seriously… I loved to put polish on my fingers but it was rarely worth the bother. First it would take me FOREVER to apply, and still I would get it all over my fingers. Then I would be too impatient to let it dry enough and end up smudging it. THEN I would end up chipping it pretty badly after just a few days. And, of course, I wouldn’t want to bother putting in the effort to track down the ancient polish-remover that had probably expired ages ago, and spend the time (and mess) in getting off what remained so, it would sit on my nails, slowly chipping away. Neglected and ragged messes.
And then along came Jamberry. Seriously. I know this sounds like a silly sales pitch but stick with me! I’ll go into my “Jamberry Origin Story” another time, but I became a consultant and realized a really really cool side-effect.
Suddenly it became a part of my job to take care of my nails. Sitting down on a semi-regular basis to take care of my cuticles and apply new wraps, making sure to use cuticle oil and lotion… these things became important for my business! I had to start putting aside the time to take care of myself. To focus on ME for a time.
I tend to redo my nails every weekend, and it’s become a ritual for me. Friday night or Saturday I will gently remove the wraps or lacquer that I have on. I’ll keep them bare for the night, applying the cuticle oil and making sure to moisturize, and then Sunday night (or sometimes earlier) I’ll apply new wraps.
It’s become something of a ritualized version of self-care — and it does feel like something I have to do. How can I show off this awesome product if I’m not wearing it, right? So, really, my side-job is forcing me into self-care… and I am so very grateful for that!
It’s important to take the time to care for yourself, in whatever form that may take for you. YOU are important and you must take care of yourself. Take some time out of your day to pamper yourself in some way – it could be as small and simple as pausing in the morning rush to enjoy a few quiet sips of your coffee — but do something for you.
What are your favorite forms of self-care?