Self-Care is Essential to My Survival
Until last Sunday, I hadn’t had a manicure or pedicure in 10 months. I know, right?
My feet were in such bad condition I stopped wearing sandles and just wore my sneakers every single day. If I got dressed up I chose shoes with a closed toe and a closed heel and made sure to slather body butter on them.
I knew I had a problem when the blankets on my bed started attaching to my feet like a Velcro strip and I started having to pick fuzzy sock lint out of the crevices of my cracked heels.
Y’all I spent $25 of a pair of gel filled booties that promised to make my feet comparable to that of a baby. It...helped. I mean, instead of my feet looking like they belonged to a man working barefoot in a rock quarry, they looked like the feet of a tomboy who ran around barefoot on gravel. That’s an improvement, right?
I should be ashamed to tell you what my toenails looked like. Now remember...my last pedicure was back in May of 2017.
I’m just gonna come out and say it.
I never took the polish off.
I’ll let you ponder that without going into the sad details.
It’s not that I don’t WANT to take care of myself but, I have a bad habit of taking care of everyone and everything else first.
I’ve got bills, y’all...and a kid in college.
I work two jobs to make ends meet. When I moved out on my own, I knew it would be hard but I didn’t expect it to be so damn hard. So, here I am working 64 hours split between 6 days per week and, although I can now afford to treat myself every now and then...I don’t have TIME.
Last Sunday morning, on a rare day off, I was invited to participate in a photo shoot that highlighted female entrepreneurs in my community. My initial response was, “no.”
I was tired and I didn’t really consider myself worthy of the invitation. I pondered it for about an hour and realized the only way to feel worthy and to get my name back out there...was to stop saying “no” and to start saying, “yes.”
I jumped out of bed and headed to the shower and, as I watched the water drip from my ankles to my feet I realized how tragic my situation was.
It wasn’t that my feet looked raggedy...which they did. It wasn’t that my nails were pathetic...which they were.
It was the realization that in being too broke or too busy, I had failed myself in the worst way possible. I had neglected my basic human needs.
Mani/Pedis aren’t crucial to my survival but I’d allowed myself to be too busy for even the simplest of pampering I could do for myself.
like a long soak or a lazy day on the couch doing nothing but binge watching my favorite shows or simply sitting outside on my patio listening to the birds chirping.
That day I jumped out of the shower, got my mani/pedi, found a cute dress on sale, did my make-up, threw on a pair of SANDALS, and went to that photo shoot. It was magnificent. It felt good to be back amongst my tribe and I felt good about MYSELF!
Last night, as I headed to bed, I said to myself, “Self? What have you done for yourself today?”
The answer was...nothing.
I grabbed a peach papaya bath bomb, ran myself the hottest of baths...and soaked.
Self-care is survival. I truly believe that and I vow to make a conscious effort to do one thing every week that relaxes me.
I vow to take care of myself first...that’s the only way I can continue to handle everything else.
Take care of you and the rest will take care of itself.
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