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.