Forget About Self-Care, ‘Tis the Time for Soul Care

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This year. We’ve characterized it in a million different ways. And, the pendulum of ever-changing emotions that we’ve experienced over the past ten months isn’t quite done swinging. We are now getting ready to end this year in the same way we do every year, with the holiday season. For some, this brings such a sense of joy and peace – so much so that I know people who started decorating their homes for Christmas right after Halloween. But, for others, the coming weeks will only put a magnifying glass on what they’ve lost in 2020. Regardless of how you are feeling, I want to encourage you to do something that may seem counterintuitive, especially as a mom and particularly during this season in which “giving” is appropriately such a focus. 

I want you to focus on YOU. 

Before you roll your eyes and accuse me of grossly oversimplifying, please hear me out. I’m not talking about treating yourself to your favorite coffee or sleeping in an extra 30 minutes if you feel like it (although, I certainly wouldn’t advise against either). What I mean is I want you to dig deep and really ask yourself what you need right now. 

And, then do it. 

Let me give you a personal example. In full transparency, I have an incredibly complicated relationship with social media. This may sound odd coming from someone who, in large part, relies on social media to get her words into the world, but it also epitomizes the tension I feel. While I love the ability social media gives me to connect, the anxiety it often stirs in my heart is significant. For me, a “nine” on the enneagram and someone who has to be very careful about not allowing negativity to overwhelm me, these past several weeks in real life (let alone, cyberspace) have been incredibly difficult. When I dig deep and ask myself what I really need right now, it’s hard to deny it’s going to start with me stepping away, in some capacity, from what’s stirring up my biggest weaknesses. 

What do you need?

What is going to bring you peace, or joy, or comfort in these coming months? What will allow you to finish this monumentally difficult year strong? If your goal is to be better on the other side of 2020, what do you really need to do in order to propel yourself there? Is there something you need to let go of or begin, or just DO (maybe after months of focusing your attention elsewhere)?  

One more thing: If there’s something that immediately came to your mind while reading this {especially if it made your stomach churn a little}, you most likely have your answer. If you have no idea, just start thinking about it. And, if what you land on feels complicated and hard, that’s okay. Rarely are healthy shifts – physical, emotional, or relational – easy. But, they are always worth it. 

Remember what flight attendants always advise us before lift-off? Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you think about doing it for anyone else. That applies on the ground, too – especially as we wrap up 2020.

It really is time to take care of you. 

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