Celebrating the Launch of Self Care Day on the 6th

Sept 6

The first time I recall ever hearing “Self Care” mentioned was a little over 10 years ago. I was sitting in my therapist’s office, exhausted, depressed, and hurting all over. I had just given birth to the Diva Princess, been handed two diagnoses within a month of one another — autism for Berns and lupus for me —  and was worn down to the nub from giving every ounce of energy, love, and attention to the needs of a newborn, her still-a-mystery-to-me brother, and their spiraling-from-the-weight-of-it-all dad.

As I sat in pj’s office venting all that was pissing me off, weighing me down, and breaking my heart, she said something to me that might as well have been whale song.

“Gina, you are going to have to take better care of yourself. You have to sleep. You have to eat. You have to go to the doctor. Your kids need a mother who is strong and you can’t be strong if you don’t do some self care.”

Self care?

I suppose I gave her my best golden retriever head cock, because she went on to say, “Yes. Self care. It is not selfish to keep yourself alive, healthy, and happy.”

Wait. What?

Luckily pj was a font of patience and walked me through the fog of self-denial into some pretty painful self awareness and on out the other side. I did a whole lot of work in those five (five!!) years of therapy with her. But it all really started with my nails.

Two Years Later…

I didn’t say this happened quickly.

While we were in Florida at the end of my father-in-law’s life, I went with one of my favorite people on the planet — my sister-in-law, E — to wait with her while she had her nails done. While I was sitting there, I decided that, heck, I could get my nails done, too. It had been a couple of years since I had and it was always for special occasions like a wedding or prom. I suppose I rationalized that a funeral was a pretty special occasion. Regardless, I got my nails done. I felt 72% more beautiful. Sure, it’s silly, but it was true.

So, I kept getting them done. Every 2 weeks for the next 6 years I went in for my manicure — an act of pure selfishness. No one benefited from this activity but me. Just me. All me. It was revelatory. It was an act of self care and it was the beginning of my taking myself seriously.

So Now…

As a coach and friend, I’m often “giving permission” to people to take care of themselves. Sure, there are a cadre of narcissists out there who do nothing but care about themselves, but most folks are pretty giving. And a certain segment of folks were taught that anything they do for themselves is immoral and selfish. They’ll drop everything to race across town at the slightest indication that someone neeeeeeds them, but they won’t walk across the room to meet their own needs.

Well enough of that!

As Joyce Rupp would say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” So, it’s high time you started refilling yours. And now there’s an official day to do it — the 6th of each month. Why the 6th? Because the idea came to be when we were talking about the facebook games about breast cancer, and I do my monthly self exams on the 6th (it’s Berns’ birthdate).

As I said when this thing popped into existence as a fully-formed idea, urged on by Page and CG:

I am — as the winner of the Internet (see: Bacon Klout) — declaring the 6th of every month Self Care Day.

What does that mean? It means that we’ll remind one another to take good care of ourselves on this day. You know, perform your self-check (skin & moles, breasts, etc), make your dentist appointment you’ve been putting off, get a massage, take a nap, start a class, clean the slate, laugh, polish your nails, or whatever it is you do that nurtures you.

It’s officially official, so there are no excuses big enough to put you and your health on the back burner any more. I’d love for you to share your Self Care Day activities in the comments.

I anticipate future posts about specific kinds of self care, how folks are observing the day, the Self Care Day T-shirt launch, the app, and the commemorative bracelet charm. Or maybe I’ll just be satisfied knowing that the folks I love are taking better care of themselves.

Either way, pretty please take really good care of yourself. It is not selfish to keep yourself alive, healthy, and happy.

It’s your job.

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About Gina Lynette

I have been called a, "PollyAnna, sugar-coated idealist." I like to think of myself as more optimistic than that.

Comments

  1. Love it. xxoo

  2. Page Broadwater says:

    LOVE IT! And I love you! Thank you so much!!

    • Thanks to you, Page, for the inspiration to declare such an off-the-wall thing!

      (And, folks, Page takes this self care stuff seriously… as in declares a whole day to herself. I’m going to have to work up to that!)

  3. An inspiration to all of us — mothers, daughters, people, artists, women, men. Thank you.

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