Treat Her Self Care Like Your Self Care

self care

Once upon a time ago, I met my friend, Julie, through one of my neighbors. Married, in her late thirties, Julie was a stay-at-home mom who was managing three kids and a nanny. The nanny was a new addition that Julie was able to afford because she had just received an unexpected inheritance. 

“I need self-care,” Julie said one day as we sat down for a glass of wine. It was hot as hell and I was leaning into one of my core values—returning to myself—which means making time for the people I love. 

“I’m going to the spa for four hours tomorrow,” Julie said.

I almost choked. Four fucking hours?! Who has that much time or someone that supportive to go to a spa for four hours on a Tuesday? And that’s how we women fall into a trap. You—finger pointing—have less to do, more support, more time and more money than I. Therefore, you can be better, you can get better, you can look better. Me—I just have to sit here and wait.

Treat Her Self Care Like Your Self Care

If I had known more about Julie’s circumstance, I would have applauded her self care. Four hours at a spa? Hell yes! 

Why?

Because women love their friends more than they love themselves. According to a 2016 study at the Potsdam University in Germany, women “negotiate better outcomes when negotiating on behalf of others whom they care about.”

Sounds about right. When I talk to myself about four hours at a spa, I drop f-bombs (albeit, longingly). I can’t, but she can. So what if you started treating yourself like your own best friend? 

Own Who You Are

If you’re not friends with the woman who gets a four hour spa treatment and/or you’re envious of her…return to you. Chances are that if four hours at a spa is truly what you need, you’ll get it. But…if it’s too much (time/money/extravagance) or you hate being touched (been there!)…return to you. What kind of self-care do you enjoy?

Back before COVID, before the Great Abdication when we leaned into “fuck this” and “why am I doing that?”, I owned a financial services company (still do). Then, this was the day:

5 a.m., up working

7:30 a.m.-8 a.m., get dressed

8 a.m.- 9 a.m., meditate while driving

9 a.m. – 6 p.m., meetings, no break

7 p.m., home, a puddle on the floor of my living room 

Then, I ate pizza for dinner and paid a nutritionist to admonish me the next day for eating poorly.

When the Great Abdication happened, I thought, “This crap isn’t working.” 

I started going for walks at five instead of working. I stopped back-to-back meetings. I spent time with friends. 

I found more adventure, I lost weight (even after firing my nutritionist), found sunsets and found me.

Forgiveness, the Forgotten ‘Give’ in Self-Care

If you look at what I just wrote about eating pizza, paying for a nutritionist and then NOT losing any weight, there’s hints of self loathing. Self loathing is part of the vicious cycle that encompasses dirty talk and our inability to care for ourselves. Forgiveness on the other hand, ah what a gift!

Forgiveness is critical to living more fully. When you can forgive yourself, you: 

  • Have more peace of mind
  • Take responsibility
  • Learn to let things go
  • Have a more positive attitude
  • Enjoy a more stable emotional state

Finally, forgiveness makes self-care that much easier and top of mind. 

Who Cares? 

After committing to celebrate my own self-care like I would a friend’s and defining it for myself, this is what happened. I:

  • Got 30 minutes to myself in the morning every day
  • Became calmer 
  • Welcomed my sense of humor back (thank God)
  • Started making better decisions for myself
  • Returned to April 

If you’re interested in hearing more, click here. 

Ideas for Self-Caring in Under 20 Minutes

  • Watch tarot card readings (I love doing this after work!)
  • Bath
  • Dance around the house
  • Sit in quiet
  • Meditate
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Journal/reflect
  • Go for a walk
  • Yoga
  • Breathe
  • Lotion your skin
  • Read 

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