Posted by Michelle Hunter on 24th Apr 2017
Recently I came to the end of a significant period of time where much was required of me, my diligence, my attention to detail, my time, my emotional strength and incredible challenge, my compassion, my focus, my humanness, my patience, my logical mind, my resources, my questioning nature.... many many months involving countless hours.... there were times when it was tough, really tough to keep going, to finish what was started, not in the practical doing sense but in the emotional sense. Along the way I learned a lot about the people around me, and I learned a lot about myself. I surprised myself. I surprised others.
When this significant period of time came to it's final days, and particularly the day after what I shall call the ending, I realised what this had asked of me, what it had demanded of me... and I felt odd. Weird. Of course the fact that I did not have to for one second longer think about what I had been occupied with freed up a bunch of headspace. Clearly, it was very freeing. Very. To finally be able to close this chapter in a somewhat ugly story was bliss. But the odd, weird feeling persisted.
Amongst other things, I believe the feeling to be one of realising how, whilst meeting the needs of others, I had not met many of my own. Sure, I had not totally neglected myself. I still slept, I still ate, I still exercised. There just was not much left over energy or motivation to nurture myself. To nurture myself on a heart and soul level.
I began doing little things, things like buying a magazine (or 4) I had always wanted to read but hadn't, I also bought a body scrub at a market one Friday night... for myself. I had the motivation to clear up some spaces in my home, I had the drive to get my hands into the soil in the gardens either side of my front doo, I dusted off the sewing machine for some projects that have zero end use in mind but just for the love of making something. I thought I would feel incredibly guilty, and to be honest occasionally the guilt pangs did strike, however, and here's the funny thing, the more little things I did, not only the bigger they felt and impacted me, but less guilt came with them.
Self care. Self love. Self matters.
I then challenged myself to try and consciously do something daily that felt to me like self care, self love, that mattered to me. Oh my, the difference those sometimes teeny tiny acts have made! Like picking the roses from my garden and putting them in a vase that sits on my bedside table. So simple.
I shared my thoughts on self care and self love with a close friend, with my daughter, then more friends, colleagues and online friends... those conversations have brought me to a place where I feel it's ok to declare publicly that I am officially calling the entire month of May, Self Care May. There is now a group of us who will intentionally do something for ourselves each day in May that represents self care... and document it!
One of those friends I shared my thoughts with has decided to join me publicly and together we shall our self care actions each day in May. Her name is Donna and here is a link to her blog We invite you to join with us and celebrate all of May your own self care actions.
You can share publicly too if you want to. We are using hashtag self care may - #selfcaremay - on our instagram accounts. You can use it too. My instagram account is thestampspot and Donna's is donna1008
We have brainstormed a bunch of ideas that could represent self care, ideas to pull from and modify to suit ourselves, our day, our needs. I will share what we came up with in a following blogpost. You are welcome to use any, all or none in your own self care practice.
To determine a daily self care action we will ask ourselves 2 questions first, these are
1. What do I need today?
2. How can I fulfil that need?
The emphasis is on 'I' for only I can possibly know what I need and how I can fulfil that need.
We plan to do short (though some could be lengthy, I am told often I am 'wordy') blogposts each day sharing our self care action, sometimes just words, sometimes with a photo or an appropriate quote.
We will be documenting Self Care May in a Pocket Page Notebook. Because... we love them! We agreed that we both need a personal focused project right now, we both need to pay attention to our self care, we both feel that by being accountable to each other and to the project we have more chance of completing the 31 days of May, we both love to play with pretty paper and get creative in telling all kinds of stories.
And that we are worthy, that we matter, that Self Care is okay.
You are worthy, you matter and Self Care is okay.
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