The strawberry moon solstice was warm and lovely here in New England, and I hope it was equally magical wherever you are!
I apologize for the absence of Frolic Friday last week, and hope you found your frolics anyway. It was a very difficult week with all the things going on in the world, and it was hard to find the frolic. However, I think we can go well into this new season with plenty of frolics – and the inspiration for this week: self-care.
When bad things happen, it is important to have community and take care of each other, but it is equally important to remember to take care of ourselves. We are our only lifelong partners. From the moment you are born to the moment you pass on, you are ever with yourself. You are your best friend, your partner, your protector. You must care for yourself first to better care for others.
While it may appear on the surface to be selfish or self-indulgent to devote time to self care, this is not the case. There is science to back up the health and community benefits of self care. And really, if we look at ourselves when we are falling apart in a broken world and of no use to anyone, and then the version of ourselves when we have a plan for self care, we are in a much better place to support others and live with intention.
Christine Meinecke Ph.D. wrote an article six years ago when the world was also tumultuous about the importance of self care in a toxic world. She also speaks of the importance of self-soothing, and how this is a part of self care, and that other people really can’t do it for you.
Also essential to self-care is learning to self-soothe or calm our physical and emotional distress. Remember your mother teaching you to blow on the scrape on your knee? This was an early lesson in self-soothing but the majority of adults haven’t the foggiest notion how to constructively soothe themselves.
A common mistake in romantic relationships is depending on a partner to soothe our pain. Most of us get married, in part, because we want someone other than mother to calm our fears and offer us band-aids. Of course, it is never a mistake to seek comfort in the sweet embrace or wise words of a spouse. The mistake is believing that a spouse is obligated to be an open tap of emotional support. It is also not a spouse’s role to teach us how to self-soothe. We must learn this skill on our own.
One of my favorites in this vein makes the rounds in several of my groups in PDF form, and is so helpful in difficult times. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up
BY NIKKI GIOVANNI
I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Nor even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her
I don’t think
To kill something
Because I am
Source: Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid ( William Morrow, 2013)
Weekly Dose of Cute
This deer and cat are friends. It is the most amazing.
This week, I want to challenge myself and others to do something kind for yourself. Not self-pampering, real self-care. Please come back and discuss your experience with others in our forums.