In a post from February (Are you cancelable?), I wrote about how we often let our self-care appointments slide off our calendar: those things—some big, some small—that we tend to think are less important than other people’s demands on our time are the first to be cancelled, postponed, or just simply forgotten.
Another comment I made in that post was that even when an initial consultation with a potential client doesn’t lead to us working together, she gets enough value out of the session—sometimes just by articulating her challenges—that she goes on to pay more attention to her self-care, and this attention often leads to intention and action.
I want to turn that around and say that I often get just as much out of these sessions as my conversation partner does. Yes, every person is different, and our challenges are likewise unique…and yet as I wrote in [Not so] secret sisterhoods, I’m always amazed and moved by our similarities more than our differences.
Each consultation I do teaches me something that I can apply to others going forward, and a recent one was no different. When I asked, “What on your schedule do you consider cancelable?” I was pleasantly surprised to hear, “Oh, I’m actually really good about keeping self-care appointments—massages, manicures, haircuts, physical training….”
But when I expressed admiration for her, she said, “Sometimes, I think I only keep them because the other person relies on me to be there because that’s how they make their living.”
Wow. That is some serious self-awareness there.
It made me realize that even those appointments that seem to be about self-care can turn into obligations—more shoulds in our lives.
So my challenge to you this week is to spend some time thinking (and acting) about your self-care:
- If you don’t practice any self-care, what’s one small appointment you can put on your calendar (once a week? twice? maybe daily?) that will move the needle toward a health goal you have? It can be really tiny—make one small change to your diet, sit in stillness for five minutes, walk an extra block or take the stairs instead of the elevator…you get the idea. If you need some inspiration, you can find some ideas steps in my Baby Steps series from last year—you can find links to all 12 in Celebrate (yourself).
- If you’re ready for Self-Care 2.0—meaning you do have some self-care routines in place that you don’t regularly cancel on—consider stepping one (or more) up a notch.
- Ready for the graduate-level course? Consider whether the appointments you keep for self-care really are “about you.” If you find they’re really more about feeling obligated to someone else, that’s okay: those care providers do rely on you for income, so don’t cancel on them; do try to make (and keep) at least one appointment this week that is solely for you.
- Not sure where to start? Schedule a YOURstory consultation, and let’s talk about you.
And drop me a note in the comments to let me know what you did for you this week!