Even with all of the self-care, life still intervenes.

abstract watercolor illustration of the top of a counter at a spa showing soaps and perfumes
Image created via Midjourney

The past few months, I have been unapologetically focused on myself.  I have spent the better part of the time since September in various states of sadness, anxiety, and anger.  This was compounded by the state of stagnation that I find myself in.  The remedy for that seems to be self-care.  

It likely started with yoga: making time for a 90-minute class 3-4x per week.  Recognizing that taking care of myself was a necessary component of being a functional human being both at home and work.  This evolved into taking better care of myself in other ways.  My daily routine has become a ritual of carefully considered improvements.

Sleep is still unpredictable.  Regardless if the night was refreshing or fitful, I am usually awake between 5:30-6:00 am.  I read the news (via The Daily Skimm), check my On This Day posts, and then get myself ready for the day.  Take my medications: for hypothyroidism and anti-depressants. I am every-other-day with the anti-depressants, slowly weaning, testing the waters with the removal of each pill to see how I feel.

On yoga days, I dress in my yoga shorts, sports bra, a comfortable skirt, and an old race shirt.  Non-yoga days would be some variation of leggings and a t-shirt.

While Ger gets the kids dressed, I make my coffee and start to unload the dishwasher.  I start hydrating to prepare for yoga. No food before yoga, it would make me nauseous in the hot room.

After the kids eat, I take them to daycare.  Drive directly to yoga for the 90-minute class (usually twice during the week, and both weekend days).

Come home, throw my sweaty things directly into the laundry. Shower. Wash my hair only with baking soda, occasionally with an apple cider vinegar rinse.  Wash my face with my own combination of olive oil, jojoba oil, and tea tree oil.  Brush my teeth with activated charcoal.  Post-shower, I add organic body oil to my arms, shea cream to my legs. No makeup.  If it is a non-yoga day, I don't shower at all and use dry shampoo on my hair.  Spray my hair with sea salt.

I work. If I've had a horrible night of sleep, I might nap in the afternoon.  Ger picks up the kids, so I work until they get home.

I make dinner. I drink a glass of wine while I'm cooking.  I use Blue Apron so three nights per week, perfectly proportioned meals are planned for me.  Alternate with Ger who tucks the kids in and who cleans up the kitchen.

Evening routine of applying a heavenly pineapple mask.  Apply vitamin E eye balm. Take fish oil and vitamin D.  Rub peppermint balm on my feet.

The top of a bathroom counter showing oils and soaps
My collection of self-care items

Snuggle into bed with Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Write.  Hope for a night of undisturbed sleep.

Even with all of the self-care, all of the steps to ensure my day goes as smoothly as possible, life still intervenes. A rash appeared on my face yesterday, similar to what I experienced after losing Iris.  Unknown origin that was finally determined to likely be the result of hormones or stress. One skin biopsy later and it ended up disappearing on its own.  I won't deny the twinge of defeatism when it appeared. That as much work as I have put into taking care of myself, and I still can't prevent my body from doing whatever the hell it wants.  Discouraging, to say the least.

"Be mindful of your self-talk.  It's a conversation with the universe."  
-David James Lees
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