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Ever heard of Self-Care Awareness Month? Me, neither. But it’s a thing, and I’m so glad there’s a whole month dedicated to our need for taking care of ourselves. Learn the difference between self-care and self-indulgence.
September marks another self-care awareness month. What does self-care awareness mean to you? I used to think self-care was all about manicures, retail therapy, and self-indulgence. Not any more. Find out the true meaning in this month’s series.
Take Care of Myself? How!
“You need to take care of yourself,” my friend urged me. “Otherwise, you won’t have the energy to take care of Pedro.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “But how?”
“Go out to eat instead of cooking. Get a massage. Hire someone to come clean the house.”
“I’ll look into it,” I promised as we said our goodbyes. But inside, I laughed at her suggestions.
Every single one of them costs money. Money we didn’t have. Travel expenses piled up each time I rushed to be with Pedro during his near-death downturns a thousand miles away. Co-pays and medical bills mounted with alarming frequency. He stopped receiving a paycheck when he could no longer work. Even Taco Bell seemed extravagant.
My friend meant well, but her ideas of self-care just plunged me deeper into despair. I grew up in the era of women struggling to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and still look sexy, svelte, and self-assured.
Instead, I felt grumpy, stressed, and overweight. Caregiving, parenting, working full-time, and worrying about bills took a daily toll on me. But no one could ever give me a workable answer to how I could take care of myself.
Self-Care Awareness Month
April of 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of Pedro’s illness. My journey to learn about healthy, balanced self-care has taken almost two decades. Back when I started, no one really thought about the necessity of self-care. For many years, people equated it with self-indulgence.
I thought the same way. Now, I understand the importance of not just self-care awareness, but actually taking the time to take care of myself in four key ways every single day. Self-care doesn’t have to cost money or take hours. But it does require intentionality.
To celebrate Self-Care Awareness Month, I’ll be sharing episodes from my Self-Care Hacks podcast each Sunday this month. I hope you listen in and enjoy the episodes. I keep them short—10-15 minutes each, and each episode offers actionable hacks you can use today to help you take better care of yourself.
A Side Note about Podcasting
I often jump into things feet first, forgetting things in my rush to get started. For the first ten episodes of the podcast, I recorded them in our guest bathroom. I didn’t have a great microphone, and I wanted good sound. Before recording each episode, I would tape the script to the mirror, put on my headlamp, and turn off the bathroom light. The light switch turns on a fan, and I didn’t want fan noise. Months later I realized I didn’t need to wear a headlamp—the light around the vanity mirror would have worked just fine. By then, I had a better microphone.
Now you know about the glamorous life of podcasting.
I’ll share my first episode today because it outlines the four areas of self-care we all need to take time for. I’d love to hear what areas of self-care you struggle with.
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Great reminder Anita!
This has been the biggest struggle I’ve had over the years, self care v self sacrifice.
The self sacrifice won too many times to the determent of my health… Now living with chronic health conditions 😕
But I am on a journey of self care in a balanced way 😉
I love that there is a month dedicated to self care! Who knew!
Tea With Jennifer recently posted…What is Wisdom?
Anita, good for you jumping straight into the podcasting thing! I have never been so brave although I have so much to say! Self care is so important and such a great topic for podcast discussion. Thanks so much for all the wonderfully inspiring work you do, my friend!
Can I just say that I admire your foray into podcasting on top of everything else you do?
Michele+Morin recently posted…Sing a Summer Song of Praise for the Miracle of Beauty
This is such a great topic, Anita. Thanks for the reminder that September is self care awareness month.
I haven’t heard of self-care awareness month either, but why not have one? 🙂 We definitely need to be aware. And intentional!
Lisa notes recently posted…When You’re Almost Out of Light
I struggle with true rest. I find myself almost always working on something – even while watching TV. Ironing, blog business, cleaning out my email, etc. And I don’t read as much as I used to because it doesn’t feel “productive” enough. But I love it. I have to work on a mind shift about this.
Lauren Renee Sparks recently posted…Front Porch with the Fitzes!
If we don’t take care of ourselves we can not take care of others.
Barb Hegreberg recently posted…6 Word Poetry #35
Great podcast, Anita! Love the image of you in the bathroom with a headlight 🙂 I would have thought a bathroom would have to many hard surfaces to sound good, but yours sounded just fine. Love your explanation of how we become like a sheep dog taking care of everyone around us. So true. I just inherited another person to take care of with a death in the family. And there is nothing wrong with that, but we need to realize it and take care of our self. I am usually pretty good at caring for myself, but sometimes I realize I am waiting for the approval of others (like family) to move forward in a creative area. I finally realized that I have to make this thing a priority and schedule time for it because it is my job to do that, and not theirs. Taking control and scheduling it myself on the calendar, and not waiting for them to quit being busy so I can squeeze it in when there is free time, has been a good awareness.
Theresa+Boedeker recently posted…The Comparison Game of Apples and Oranges
Happy Monday Anita!
A great post as usual…congratulation for your effort on writing such good blog posts.
And thank you for taking time and hosting the party for us.
Have a great week!
Sinziana recently posted…Family Summer Trip August 2021
Anita, you truly amaze me. I may have giggled a bit when I read about your beginnings with podcasting. 😉 I used to think of self-care as self-indulgence too. Particularly in 2021, I’m learning to embrace both the necessity of taking care of myself, as well as being intentional to do so. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
I love this reminder about self-care and really relate to the difficulty of balancing it with caregiving. Thanks for sharing your hilarious adventures with podcasting too!