Self-care is a big thing in the trade that I’ve been learning over the last few years. If you spend your working life using your own body to assist other people to feel better in their bodies, it can be wearing – on the joints, on the fingers and thumbs, on the muscles, and on the soul.
Tonight, slouched on the sofa in my most disgusting clothes, having scarfed down an entire packet of Jaffa Cakes in a bid to feel good about where I am in life, I realised I’m not being good at self-care. Again.
I haven’t eaten the five-a-day in months (the orange in the Jaffa Cakes sadly does not count). There have been days where it hasn’t even been one-a-day. I’ve let these days slip by and accumulate. Oh, tomorrow will be different.
We’ve all made the resolution that starts right after we jump gleefully off the wagon. Right now I’m watching the wagon leave without me, telling myself I’ll take up running again to catch up with it, while I plan more ways to make myself sick enough that I can’t get out of bed tomorrow.
It’s not the food that’s making my body sick. I can only blame the nation I live in for so many things. The supermarkets in this part of the country are stacked with goodness that I could sink my teeth into, but instead I end up reaching for the boxed mac and cheese, telling myself I won’t really eat it.
It was delicious, by the way, with a good lashing of black pepper.
I could eat the good food. I could tell Cowboy that beef is off the menu, he can just suck it up, it’s steamed fish and vegetables from now on – although I’m not sure how long our relationship would last if I cut him off that abruptly.
I cleaned the stalls in the barn today while he was out, because it was physical activity that would get me warm and breathing a little harder, and it felt lovely. Later, in my Jaffa stupor on the sofa, the thought suddenly hit me in the face like a wet sponge.
You are really quite depressed, Bee. You need to do more exercise, and eat better, and you’ll feel happier again. You always do! It’s ok. You can fix this.
So I did the sensible thing and went to get into my pyjamas and go to bed in a funk. Here I am.
The first step to self-care has been to put on Beyonce in my outrageously loud headphones and blast some empowerment into my eardrums. The second step was to google counselling in this neck of the woods and discover that the gym is so very much cheaper, gracious me. So, my therapist will probably be telling me to squat and push rather than asking me how my week has been. But that’s ok, I get the same end result of being a more normal human being.
Added bonus: revitalised buns, abs and guns of steel.
Here’s the kicker: this whole thing is a cycle. Every few months, I get into this dark, deep place, and I have to haul myself out by my arse again. This blog will become a catalogue of pledges to start again, to change again, because I get happy and I get complacent, and then I get not happy again.
It’s ok to keep starting again. As long as I keep checking in and noticing that it’s bad, it’s ok to have to keep restarting. Ignore all those snappy Pinterest posts about how if you’re sick of starting over, stop giving up. Bullshit. Start over as many times as you need. Good for you!
I’m going to go and eat cereal for dinner. I’ll start over in the morning.