I started this particular post in March just before Covid-19 reached alarming pandemic status in the US. The hubs had been sick with a horrible cough a couple of weeks prior and missed work. Then, I was struck ill and wound up in bed for five days (which is not like me at all), and following that our daughter suffered a bout of sickness which caused her to miss an entire week of education just before they closed schools for good. In all probabilty we had the coronavirus, though they were not yet testing here at that point, and we assumed that we simply had the flu.
… Today I lie in bed with a throbbing head, achy eyes, stuffed sinuses and a tickling cough; having spent my night literally rolled up like a burrito (in my burrito blanket) between the intermittent chills and cold sweats of a fever. Tired but unable to get much rest, I determined to stay home from work and try to do just that. I did sleep-in (however briefly), but here I sit as convicted as ever that I must continue to somehow be productive even when sick. What can I feed my family for dinner tonight? Do I need to get my daughter anywhere this evening? Should I log onto CRM to see what I am missing and if there is anything that needs handled for the office while I am not there? Maybe I should go downstairs and see if there is some project small enough for me to manage in the basement while I am home? My mind races. What is that all about anyway!?
The truth is, self care without guilt is just one of the things that I have not quite mastered in this pursuit to live simply. So, not surprisingly, it rarely manages to become one of my priorities. But, today I am going to make a concerted effort to pamper myself as best I can through sickness, and draft an agenda of some easy things that I would like to schedule into my planner just for me! Perhaps you would benefit from creating a list of your own? Or, just glean what ideas you like from mine. But, even so, make it your own and create some fun activities that you enjoy and will follow through.
Self care is something that we do need to concern ourselves with. Otherwise, can we ever really attain that simple life we so desire? If there is never rest we cannot rejuvenate our bodies to be there for those we love and who need us most. If there is no rest, we cannot keep our minds uncluttered and free of exasperation and resentment. Admittedly, all work and no play makes this Jill a drab and cranky girl!
Below are some of my favorite ways to incorporate a bit of self-care and pampering into my days. These tried and true ideas never fail to rejuvenate and refresh me – body, mind, and soul – to tackle my world and all of its chaos!
- Relax in a bath filled with bubbles, soothing essential oils, or epsom salts. (Don’t forget some calming music, candles, a glass of wine or something cool and iced to sip).
- Take a nap. Sometimes our body just needs a little extra rest!
- Journal. For me there is no better way to unwind than to write away the cares of the day, jot down insights from a study or my Bible, or just write a poem or fictional story if that’s what you like.
- Take a walk, preferably in a nature setting. Pay attention to your surroundings instead of ticking off that To-do list in your mind!
- Sit on the back porch (or the front porch, the patio, or the stoop…) and listen to the birds, the wind or the rain.
- Set up a bird feeder and enjoy the feathered friends that visit. Their antics can be quite amusing.
- Grab your phone and take some photos in your backyard or on your block. Think there’s nothing worthy? Even a rusty old gate can make interesting close-up content for an intriguing photo shoot.
- Curl up with a favorite book. Look up, or read a book on Hygge. Implement those ideas into your lifestyle for a restful, peaceful way of making life cozy all of the time.
- Sooth your body with a lovely, scented lotion. I know I’m guilty of neglecting better care of my skin, but it always amazes me how incredible it feels to be moisturized and to enjoy the pleasant scent that lingers with you and continues the extra benefit of aroma therapy!
- Speaking of scent therapy, pull out and fire up that diffuser in the back of your linen closet with your favorite essential oils. I love to base my scent of choice on the season. Try a floral scent for spring (like jasmine, rose, or geranium). Beach tones for the hotter months (coconut and lime smell wonderful!). Spicy selections (like cinnamon apple, or pumpkin with nutmeg or clove) in autumn, and of course in winter (peppermint, vanilla, evergreen pine scents, or frankincense and myrrh) add to the magic of the holidays.
- Lest I forget to dawn some cozy clothes? Is there anything better than a hot cup of your favorite beverage on the couch with a warm throw blanket, fluffed-up pillows, and your favorite oversized sweater and leggings? (Oooh! and big, fluffy socks!)
- Light some well-liked scented candles, or flameless versions to add ambience to your home. Or click on a set of strategically placed twinkle lights for that ambient glow.
I could go on and on. You get the gist! Whatever relaxes you and puts a smile on your face is where you want to start (and continue!) to pencil in some of these ideas into your daily planner. At least once a week block out a small amount of time just for you. You will feel better and you will find yourself with more energy and desire to care for those around you.