Self-Care Must Be Easy and Enjoyable

I’ve always been big into the idea of self-care, but the actuality? Spas bore me and gyms annoy me. I’m more of an extra taco, one more cocktail or new outfit sort of gal. I know that’s not self-care. Those treats comfort for a moment, but don’t improve our endurance one bit.  I hit ground zero for needing real self-care last summer. After the constant grind of political tumult, my jeans were too tight and my closet was overflowing. I was fried.

I needed help holding my center with each news cycle. But being a busy mom with a writing career, I couldn’t add an hour of daily meditation or a new diet with massive food prep. I needed something fast and easy, like those HIIT workouts that are so popular: a nine-minute workout that gives you all the exercise you need. It’s true. Those workouts have been scientifically proven effective. What if I did the same with self-care? Could short bursts of taking care of myself add up to big time comfort?

While heart-sick at the first attempted repeal of Obamacare in July, I stumbled across a crystal store. Back in the 1990’s, I trotted down a couple of spiritual paths. I loved the New Age concept that stones have different energies and you can tap into them by carrying them around. Feeling stung by the judgmental version of my childhood god, I adored collecting crystals to decorate my apartment. That was one soothing pad. In hindsight, I’m sure it scared off more than one suitor.

Yearning for the peace and comfort of my old apartment, I entered the store. Let me tell you, I had a bliss flashback. I savored winding through row after row of sparkling crystals and stones in every color of the rainbow. They stood before me like candy. I bought a handful that appealed to me: rose quartz, amethyst and obsidian for grounding.

Upon exiting the store, I made sure no one was looking, and dropped the grounding stone into my bra. (Pro tip: sports bras work well for this, but if you’re wearing a t-shirt bra, forget it. Just stick the crystals in your pocket.)

I’ve been wearing crystals for months. While I don’t believe the stone brings its own power into my day, I empower my intention of staying grounded when I choose a crystal for the day. I’ve been cultivating self-care in other small ways too…switching my soda to kombucha, skipping the morning drive-thru run and doing three to five minutes of yoga before bed.

The Weinstein, et al scandals have been the true test of my theory. I’m furious and disappointed and not above gnashing my teeth at the disgustingness of the situations. But I found that I am able to take a few deep breaths and re-set after each article I read, constantly going back to the idea that self-sabotaging behavior is not going to help. I need to feel grounded and well to thrive through these awful days. It’s a significant shift and if it took dropping crystals down my shirt to get there, so be it.

So, embrace those small actions of self-nurturing because they matter. We need them. Put that crystal in your bra or your lucky rabbits foot back into your purse. Who cares if it’s silly? Pay attention and give yourself credit for taking these actions. One last thing. If you go the crystal in your bra route, be careful when you bend over. Don’t get knocked in the head by a flying rock. I never said this practice was safe.

Categories: Dealing with Anxiety, Life Lesson, Whatever Works

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