It’s officially winter, my least favorite time of year. Hours of sunlight dwindle and temperatures drop to levels that people like me with circulation issues do not tolerate very well. The air smells cold, and my eyes tear up when I step out my front door.
The fun parts of winter are over. Gone are the twinkly lights and cheery music. No one is handing me cookies and theres no glitter to be found anywhere. No, this part of winter is stark and sometimes seems endless.
This is not to say that this period of the year does not have it’s own beauty, but that in my experience, this is the longest and sometimes bleakest part of my year.
This is when self care becomes one of the most important things I have ever done for ME. And no, I’m not talking about fancy bath bombs and facials (though those things are certainly fun!). No this is when I have to really look deep into my soul and check myself. Am I really caring for myself? Am I giving myself space to breathe when I need it? Am I making sure that I am nourishing my mind, body and soul?
During this season self care truly looks like making a manageable to do list, and actually getting out to do it. That library book isn’t going to return itself, after all. It’s scheduling an hour of my morning to tidy my kitchen, and throw on the two loads of laundry that need to be done so that I have clean underwear for the week. It’s sitting down on a Sunday night to talk to my husband and see what his schedule is for the upcoming week and scratching out a quick meal plan and matching grocery list, and then planning a part of my day to stop by the grocery store on my way home from work. It’s waking up a few minutes earlier to read the bible, and staying up a few minutes later to journal before turning in for the night. It’s eating three square meals a day, and making sure there are vegetables in at least one of those meals.
And what I have really come to realize is that self care is ultimately saying NO to certain things in order to say yes to the things that I need for my mental sanity. I kind of glossed over this fact when listening to my favorite podcast the other day thinking yeah, yeah thats something alright. But the more I think about it, the more it haunts me.
I am not Wonder Woman (no matter how much I would like to be). I am not capable of being all things to all people, and that my friends is okay. I do not need to be all things to all people. I merely need to be the best version of me, for myself. Because if I am taking care of myself, I am better able to take care of my family. And if my family is more peaceful, there is more space to be a better friend. But none of these things can be done if I don’t start saying no to the things I just cannot be right now.
And honestly? That’s okay. It is not out of malice or anger. It is out of a deep and profoundly needed self care that I am practicing my NO to say YES to the things that make me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
I’m also planning to fix the no cookie thing by picking up the ingredients to make cookies for myself because, honestly? I just want warm buttery chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven and I am totally okay with letting myself have that one thing on this cold day 😉
As we come into the second week of January and already can see our resolutions slipping away from us, let’s dive back in and really try to take care of our selves for the year ahead.