My Ode To Self-Care

The home has been cleaned, ovens are pre-heating, turkeys are baking, and batter is being prepared for those cakes and pies that everyone longs for at this time of the year. There’s so much to do in so little time. The children need to be tended to, husbands have their requests, and loved ones near and far have an expectation; the expectation of sacrifice. Being a woman ain’t easy. In fact, it’s rather exhausting because it seems that everyone is in need of something. But what about what I need? What happens when the encourager needs to be encouraged? What happens when the caretaker requires being taken care of? What happens when you witness growth in everything and everyone around you, except yourself?

For some of us, our entire lives have been about sacrifice. It is with regret that I say that sacrifice has become the narrative of the woman. Sometimes I feel it a blessing and a curse the way in which God has so purposefully graced many of us in that we do not look like how or what we feel. But, I believe in what the actor Jesse Williams stated when he said “Just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean that we’re not real”.

But now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s turn our focus to the practice of self-care. Self-Care is Self-Love! There are some important things to remember as we go about this holiday season and for the duration of our lives. In practicing self-care, it becomes that much more easy and comfortable to say “no”. Self-care makes others wait when we are tired from a long hard day’s work. Self-care may encourage the husband and children to order pizza or make sandwiches after hours on a job where everything except our sanity has been taken from us. Self-care may be a bit of an adjustment, but freedom lies within it!

As we make time to fellowship with family and friends, let’s be mindful to spend some time with ourselves. Spend time with your thoughts, your visions, the matters of your heart and mind. Women are gate-keepers for their families. We guard our seeds and signifiant others without fail. But I challenge you all to make the first step in also guarding yourselves which might require that you let down your guard. It’s okay to be confident, secure, independent and most importantly, vulnerable.

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Beautiful - India Arie