I’ve titled this post Self-Care: Part 1 because I believe this is a topic that deserves several blog posts!
This past winter, my family and I enjoyed a winter cabin for a weekend. Spending a winter weekend at a cabin is one of my favourite things to do. It makes me love winter (ps – I don’t always love winter). I love that we get out in nature to enjoy the snow and I love the coziness of coming in from the cold. Right after this winter weekend at a cabin, I went back to work and into a day that was stressful at the agency. I remember looking at the stress on my co-worker’s faces and realizing that I was not holding any of that stress myself. I realized, “This is self-care.” It is doing the things that truly fill us up emotionally and spiritually.
I love thinking about passing this gift on to my children. Today, as we gardened, my son had the idea to turn a simple, portable swing we use ($20 at Ikea!) into a tiny hammock on a tree. He and my daughter took turns relaxing in the hammock, and lying on a soft blanket spread out on a tree branch. Breathing, noticing, appreciating, taking it all in. As my 3-year-old daughter tried to get into the hammock, she settled in in an awkward position. I helped her shift her body to a more comfortable position. I noticed a smile spread across her face. I moved my hand through her hair and expressed to her how good it must feel to be relaxed in the hammock. I asked her if I could bring her a granola bar and some water. Her smile spread bigger.
Photo by Tanya Hoover.
Offering nurture to our children shows them that we value nurture, that we feel they deserve it, and that in fact, we want that for them.
In the same garden trip, there were moments when she wanted me to do something for her and she had to wait. There were times she couldn’t have what she wanted. But for her moment in the hammock, she could truly feel how much she – and everyone you will ever meet – deserves loving, caring, nurturing moments. This is self-care.