Accepting Self-Care

As I was putting away some laundry last night I stepped on a piece of glass (from who knows what) and the bottom of my foot started bleeding. I was stressed, annoyed, and not ready for one more thing to go wrong. I’ve been studying a lot and working a lot and a recent shin splint put a wrench in my training plans. As I cleaned up my foot it occurred to me that I have to just except that I need to take care of myself.


It seems strange that we would struggle against taking care of ourselves. Why would we turn down a night curled up with our favorite movie, a yoga session, a trip to a favorite restaurant with a friend, or a spa day? But the excuses seem to pile up; I should be working on something, there’s that laundry that needs to be done, I promised that family member that I’d put helping them first. And I, like most people, have to fight through a fair amount of guilt to get to self-care. I put others first or disregard fun for more important things. #TheStruggleIsReal


But you can’t let excuses and guilt get in the way because in the long run everyone suffers. Self-Care is an important thing. It helps you refresh and have the strength to be ready when others need you. My body wasn’t letting me ignore it any longer. I felt the need to take care of myself become more and more present even though I’d been putting it off and letting guilt put it on the backburner.


So I took a few deep breaths and told myself that I need to accept this self-care. I need it. I need yoga and to sit and paint my nails and maybe even a nap. Self-care is important and guilt needs to be let go of.


Do you struggle with accepting the need for self-care? How do you begin to accept it?



Taking Time for Acclaim

The company I work for offers a few programs to encourage community involvement. Of course I volunteer because it’s a part of who I am but the company perks certainly are nice. You can find volunteer opportunities but also record them and at the end of the year based on the number of verified volunteer hours they give you a certain amount to donate to an organization of your choice. With my 202 volunteer hours last year I maxed out this benefit and get to give a serious chunk of cash to my favorite place! It’s really a nice reward to recognize all my hard work.


While I don’t do things for the acclaim it is an important part of self-care to allow yourself to be recognized by others and to take a minute to recognize yourself for all your work. Acclaim shouldn’t be sought out but should be welcomed. So I’m taking a moment to celebrate with my grant.


Then I realized I have to pick a charity. One charity. How do I choose? Local or global? Which important issue? Health? Environment? Education? So many good people doing good things!! The first rule I made is I’m not going to donate to any of the organizations I volunteered for so that rules out Special Olympics, Crisis Text Line, American Red Cross, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, 826LA, and Homeboy Industries. All fantastic organizations but they got my time last year.


So organizations started popping into my head. There is My Friend’s Place which I’ve worked with in the past and just love. The Los Angeles Library that keeps my city literate. To Write Love on Her Arms which is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary. The Jane Goodall Institue that is a leader in conservation. The Girl Scouts, I was one when I was younger and loved it. Planned Parenthood a very important organization to women’s health in the US. WriteGirl another great local education organization. And other ones keep jumping into my head – RAIIN, UNICEF, Books for Africa, etc, etc.


I guess this is a fun thing to think about. I want to pick a charity by the end of the month. Comment or tweet me your thoughts on how to narrow down my choices or suggest an organization for me to add to my list!

Happy Groundhog Day!!!

It’s my favorite holiday. Happy Groundhog Day everyone! And no it’s not my favorite because of the movie.


I like it because 1) it’s a magical fortune telling groundhog who writes poetry, 2) I grew up in a place where the prediction mattered, and 3) it’s the easiest least stressful of holidays meaning you can celebrate as much or as little as you want. You can throw a party or forget until the morning of and just wish everyone a “Happy Groundhog Day!”


I think it’s an important part of self-care to make the decision to be happy and joyous and let yourself have fun. I know people think I’m kidding when I say Groundhog Day is my favorite holiday but it really is. It’s a day that I just get to be happy and celebrate just because. It makes me smile. This Groundhog has a crew of people in tops and tails taking care of him and thousands of followers to cheer for him.


Is there something that other people think is silly that makes you happy? Something that reminds you to smile when you forget? Something that you decide to allow to make you joyous? Share with me in the comments.

Weekly Check-In

I can’t believe it’s the end of January. This week flew by with all the working. I’m really tired but feeling good that I can work this hard and be this tough. I also got to test out the American Red Cross Blood donor app. It’s pretty cool and great for tracking info and setting up future appointments. Now if I could only get them to stop calling me all the time.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 Hours of Crisis Text Line (we were busy this week and it’s the first week of my new shift which is an hour later).
  • 1+ Hours donating Blood (sticking to my new years resolution)

Charitable Giving

  • Zero

Personal Kindnesses

  • Even as I’m on an extended job search I really make sure to be supportive of others who are starting new jobs or interviewing. Someone came up to my desk looking for a certain room and mentioned they were interviewing. I made sure to congratulate them and wish them luck. There is enough success to go around and someone else’s success should be celebrated like your own.

Self Care

  • I managed to get a run and a couple of workouts in this week.
  • When I have a rare free night I spend at home snuggling with my dog. She’s a sweetie and doesn’t like that I’m away from home longer hours.
  • A friend reminded me to find time for myself too. I feel like the blood donation really was for me. It was sticking to my resolution, something I really want to do. Plus I saved up to 3 lives!

Please share in the comments how you’re doing this week!

Exercise as Self-Care

So one of the self-care topics that is really important to me is exercise. I feel like it’s an under used and under rated resource.


One of the reasons that January posts have been a little scattered is because I took time to take a vacation. My first one in years! I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon and took a week to enjoy Walt Disney World with my friends. It was wonderful. It was my first marathon and I finished (not very fast)!! I wore a princess costume and took a ton of pictures. It was such an amazing feeling to accomplish such a big goal and wear a nice big medal to match!


I started running over a year ago. I ran a couple of half marathons, a 5k, and a 10k. I really enjoyed it and my dog really really enjoyed the training. I plan on doing a couple more half marathons, 5ks, and 10ks this year and haven’t really ruled out doing a marathon again.


I view my running as a self-care project from start to finish. I’m not trying to set any speed records (which is good because I’m slow) or beat anyone or even really to lose weight. I run to clear my head and get into my body. I run because it makes my dog happy and that makes me happy. I run because I live right by one of the most beautiful parks in the US. I run Disney races so I can dress up and see the parks with other happy people. I run to feel accomplished. I run for an excuse to travel. I run to leave stress in the dust.


I grew up dancing and doing gymnastics and I’ve practiced yoga most of my adult life. I got into running because the races came up and it was something I could do pretty easily. Exercise is one of the easiest and fastest self-care activities. You can sweat out your problems so easily. I understand it gets hard to get started when you’re feeling down or stressed or just lazy but I’ve seen for myself the benefits.


I went to see Temple Grandin speak at the LA Library. She took a question from the audience and a teenage girl with autism asked her for advice. “Exercise, everyday even if you don’t want to.” Exercise heals our brain as much as it improves our body. I’ve seen it working at the Special Olympics World Games. Sport can have such a positive impact no matter what level you are.


What is your exercise routine? Do you have a physical resolution? Do you feel the same way about exercise as self care?