A friend introduced me to the #UgBlogMonth challenge where you are expected to write a blog a day for 21 days about a given topic. Today is the sixth day I missed the five, maybe I will carry them forward but for now I get to start with writing about what I do for self-care.
Let me confess that I only looked up self-care on google for the first time today, for the purpose of this blog despite the fact that I throw the phrase around quite a lot. Psych Central defines it is what we deliberately do to take care of our emotional, mental and physical health and adds that good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.
This is what I do for self-care;
I strongly believe that what we see on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on, on the inside so what much better way to enter my day than talking to my creator because only he can work from the inside.
You see, the challenge we face is going around expecting people around us/material things to be the source of our peace, happiness, the measure of our self-worth etc and when these fail we get so frustrated and depression sets in, we lose our peace, pick up habits to fill the void and help us escape.
When a shoe is torn, you do not take it to a garage you take it to a cobbler, when your phone stops working, you go to ‘Mutaasa Kafeero Plaza’ not Mulago hospital, when you have a toothache you find a dentist not an electrician, the list goes on. Similarly, when your heart/soul needs some healing/ stability or just nourishment, you take it to a specialist, the one who created it. It’s what I do besides, you glow differently when you pray.
Exercising was not something I fancied but dancing was my thing . I was once a salsa and general Latino music addict. I went three times a week without fail and danced till I dropped, that was enough exercise for me.
I think I am either aging or life is happening to me. After becoming a mom, an employee, a student and all other things that grown ups experience, I have found myself at zero attendance of Latino nights although I have albums and albums of ‘Kizomba’ and ‘Bachata’ music that I play and dance to before my mirror- on special days just for fun.
Lately, I have taken up exercising four times a week at home, without anyone pushing me. If this is not age, I don’t know what it is. It always leaves me feeling happy and keeps me in shape.
3. Self-talk and The Mirror
I have moments when I look at myself in the mirror and have honest conversations with the person staring back at me. I ask her how she is feeling lately. Sometimes she has tears in her eyes. Sometimes it is fear staring back. Sometimes she is lost. When we talk, I carry out a brutal diagnosis on her. I judge her. I remind her who she is and then ask her to get up and try again. Sometimes, I just pat her on the back and say, well done.
I really love a good meal any day although I have poor eating habits. I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. It used to be fun with my baby around but turns out I am not the only one who loves her, my father woke up one day and said, it was his turn! I lost the debate to grand Papa so lately I am more by myself and fixing a meal for one person is not fun at all. I snack a lot and take lots of water.
Despite this background, every time I feel I have done something good say hit a deadline, passed my exam or just landed a good deal, I treat myself to a special meal. I take me out to celebrate the achievement or order in, put my legs up, watch a movie and life is good! I cannot wait to eat a large chicken pizza (alone) after this quarantine.
When you look good, you feel good. So I love to pimp my nails, my hair and just look cool (let’s not mention how this lock-down has humbled me). I have had those horrible saloon experiences where you explain to someone what exactly it is you want in all simplicity and they say they have understood it and the next time you look up, behold a clown!
This normally does not survive a night, I yank it out and create something to show up with in the morning and hit a different saloon. Costly but worth it.
When my clouds are grey, I sleep in. My default setting to a setback is shutting down but I will also sleep whenever I get a chance to just rest and rejuvenate. I think I look much better and function properly when I am well rested.
I hinted on this under exercising. I cannot imagine my life without music. It’s true for me that music is life and that’s why our hearts have beats. I dance when I am happy, I sing all the time and it’s no surprise that my 18 months old, Mackayla loves dancing and sings to all her favorite rhymes when she is about her business. Music will calm her down any time. It does the same for me.
I love taking long quiet walks in the wild or the country side. The chirping birds remind me to live life like I have no cares, the setting sun, the bright full moon, sounds of water gliding down a rock, the waves, the stars, the sky…all these things feel like a warm embrace to my soul.
Here I find me, I let go and could actually live in the wild if it were not for wild animals and those creeping things at night.
9. Good company
I love to hang out with people that get me. I enjoy company where I do not have to pay attention to what I am saying or apologize for a joke. I love having deep conversations about anything and everything and just be random. I love to meet with no agenda and just be, life is already hard out here.
A good laugh is medicine for the soul and these people that bring out the best in me are ones I love to hang out with. These people that feel like home, real and raw.
10. The Don’t do list
I realized I was getting very attached to my phone just scrolling and scrolling on for hours. So I went to settings and from 10 pm to 7 am, I have a grey screen. I can’t even recall where exactly in display settings that was but yeah, here we are. The temptation is in putting the phone down after that boring screen hits my eyes.
Today, in total I use 3-4 hours of internet daily, except when I have exams, meetings, research or any pressing need to stay online. I come to check important messages, assure people I am still alive and I am off to anything else. I feel good.
I daily track my expenses ad save up, I cut on my unplanned spending save for emergencies. This lock-down has got me walking 4-6km just to shop for groceries and I have not died. I will be walking all the distances I have been lazy to walk and just paid for when freedom returns. This is one of the ways I save myself a panic attack when a storm like Covid suddenly hits.
That’s pretty much about me, I hope you have a list as well of things you do, intentionally just for your mental, emotional and physical health. If not, it’s never too late to start.
I am the Sparrow.