While I agree 100% that self care is essential the advice and expectations nowadays seem overwhelming and daunting, sometimes to the point of being impossible. What if I don’t have the time or energy to go the gym at least 3 times a week? What if I don’t have the resources to only eat organic or cook everything myself from scratch? What if I am not able to twist into yoga poses or hold the pain at bay long enough to do more than sleep after work?
What if my mind will not calm enough for meditation and telling me to concentrate on my breathing makes me hyperventilate?
So I start SMALL.
A few months ago I treated myself to a new bath mat.
It was quite literally the softest bath mat I had ever seen and for £9 I decided I had to have it. The checkout operator commented on the fluffiness then in the same breath added “Shame they don’t stay like that” which I thought was an unnecessarily arsehole comment to make, but I had the world’s fluffiest bath mat in my grasp so I let it go.
While his comment wasn’t the most positive I thought he may have had a point, bath mats that get wet regularly aren’t going to last as long as those that don’t, but by this time I (and my bare feet in particular) were madly in love with this one.
So I devised a cunning plan, which I have now managed to convert into a cunning new habit.
Before exiting the shower each day I gently and lovingly place a small towel on top of my beloved bath mat, upon which I stand, dripping and fluff destroying, until I have dried off enough to safely settle into it’s heavenly depths.
I then scrunch my toes like Bruce Willis in Die Hard.
I smooch my feet into the blissful softness until they have had their fill, happy in the knowledge that my bath mat will be protected longer than the average and will be available for me to treat myself with for many more years.
This tiny and costless bit of self care is known to just me and my bath mat (and now all the people on the internet, but there can’t be too many of them surely) but it adds moments of indulgence on good days and moments of comfort on not so good days. By seeing self care in something as simple as a bath mat I effortlessly increase the attention I pay myself.
It’s the tiny things we do that add up to Selves that are cared for.