That’s not to say I wouldn’t appreciate being swept off my feet with a surprise flight to Paris as much as the next girl. But who are we kidding? Crazy expensive, over-the-top romantic gestures are rare. When it comes to maintaining a 25-year marriage, it’s the little things (like Saturday morning tea and Sunday “gravy”)
that keep us connected day after day, week after week.
The same can be said for self-care. While a week-long stay at a spa/resort would be heavenly, it’s the daily, little things that keep the well from running dry.
Of course, it’s easy to prioritize everything else above self-care. I’ve yet to write a to-do list that includes self-care. That’s because I tend to see work as the first priority of my day, with everything else coming in a distant second.
The first step to exercising self-care is awareness. Find a quiet moment and ask yourself, “What do I need? You may be surprised to learn you need silence
, more sleep
, or just some time off to be blissfully unproductive.
A month ago, I suddenly blurted out that I needed more fun and less all work/no play weekends. Two days later my friend Lockey asked me if I wanted to go with her into New York City the following Friday night to hear Kris Carr and Gabrielle Bernstein speak.
Of course! We drove into the city, enjoyed the presentation, had a wonderful dinner, drove back to her house and sat up until 5:30 a.m. talking. After a few hours of sleep, the snow outside persuaded me to stay a bit longer and hang out by the fireplace.
The following Friday evening I had an unexpected dinner with my friend and her husband, who I hadn’t seen in many years. Last Friday evening, after a day that went in a completely different direction than originally planned, I ended up having another unexpected visit – this time with my mother.
I didn’t realize what was happening until after my dinner with my friend and her husband. When I realized I had clearly stated what I needed, only to get it a few days later, I was floored. And then I remembered
I thought it was a bit woo-woo, but I tried and asked for something irrelevant. It didn’t work. But it sure worked this time.
The morale of my story is simple: Stop burying your needs under obligations to work and others. Pay attention to yourself and state clearly what you need. Make the little things you need a priority and abundance will be yours.
Don’t forget to be your own Valentine today and every day!
Survival > Existence,
(or, how my husband made a grand romantic gesture out of a very little thing.)