Sunday, March 16, 2008

induldge in self-care

On March 10th, my grandmother joined her Creator. My father said it was a beautiful death... she was at home, surrounded by family. Needless to say, it was still difficult for the loved ones she left behind, even though we know that she is now at peace and no longer suffering in a physical body that was failing.

I took two days off work, to give myself time to just sit, meditate, cry, or do nothing. Typically the "doing nothing" part is hard for me to do. Not surprisingly I also got into stress-cooking mode, which fed my soul (and my friends and coworkers).

One of the best pieces of advice I heard during this time was from a dear friend of mine who said, "Just stay home and hug yourself."

It's amazing how something that sounds fairly simple can just be exactly what you need. It wasn't rocket science, but it made perfect sense.

Everyday we are bound by commitments... to family, work, school, friends. Not that this is a bad thing. But some days we just really need to indulge in "me-time"... without feeling guilty. Sometimes this modern work ethic gets in the way, and "me-time" sounds a little selfish... but then I thought, if doing self-care can make me a better person, then why not?

I actually took the "hug yourself" advice a bit further and got an hour-long massage (Thanks Elizabeth!). What a great way to spend a Friday evening and end the work-week. For the first time all week, I slept like a baby.

I started to make a mental list of "me-time" and/or equivalents of "hugging myself"... and for once I tried not to list things that involve any chocolate.

- sit in silence and practice pranayama (breathing exercises) or meditation, even for at least 10 minutes
- practice some yin yoga
- bring back my tea ritual (using a teapot, little Asian teacups, and loose tea leaves from this place ... the works) and do nothing else for at least 5 minutes while enjoying my tea
- soak in the bath with my detoxifying bath salts and calming lavender essential oil
- maybe, just maybe, get another massage (I fear that this will be quite addicting... and a pretty pricey addiction to support)

I hear my tea kettle whistling.... water's ready!

photo by Camille, 2006

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