More often than not, I feel like self worth and self care overlap. When I am not caring for myself, then my own self worth dips. The worth isn’t tangible, of course. It is that voice in the back of the head, peddling doubt and lack of care at odd times of the day and night. Or it’s the voice that is yelling, “Look at all you did! Good for you!”
This post isn’t necessarily about getting it perfect, it is about management. It is important to remember that nothing is perfect, and certaintly not the way we care about ourselves or care for ourselves…
But we can try and work on it daily. Over the course of writing my book and publishing it, the solitary moments took me on a journey of some inner deep discovery that can’t be undone. My sad moments were few, but loud and clear and felt monumental. My happiest times were quiet and full of simple contentment. Now that Woman Of Color is officially 7 months old, and the skies get darker earlier here in the city, I find myself having more time to retreat into my own thoughts (past and present). Thoughts that have me returning to things I’ve learned along the way.
It may seem silly, but here are things I’ve done in the past (and daily) to manage my self care, and ultimately, my self worth:
Manage calls, texts, and conversations. In general, I realized If I am at a sensitive place, whether it is emotionally, physically, or deep in the process of a big project or just sorting through heavy stuff, I need to manage my engagement. This goes for how I engage, and who and what I engage with. The person on the corner. A group thread, you name it. I realized that these things, depending on the nature, can bring me to a negative space that doesn’t even really belong to me. Have you ever had that happen? One minute you’re fine. Next you’re upset. I really believe that energy transfers. When I’m the negative one, I try to spare others unless I feel like there’s some deep connection and resetting that will happen in that shared space.
Rest. In all forms. Without judgement. In the middle of the day yesterday I got my first facial that I’ve ever paid for. I’m a 30 year-old New Yorker, some would say I am seriously behind. Nevertheless, my skin needed it. But I also needed the reset / rest for the start of the week. I try hard not to compare my work ethic, time management, or freelance/small buisness life to anyone else’s. But of course, I am imperfect. And when I do remember, the rest can include a rest from reading, from working, a literal nap, a shutdown and lay down with eyes wide, or just the promise of a full night’s sleep when the kids nod off.
Say nice things. I truly mean that. It is so easy to feel like the sum of any one thing. And social media doesn’t make it easier. Being a parent, doesn’t make it easier. Not being the greatest cook, doesn’t make it easier. The laundry and it’s ability to build, doesn’t make it easier. But that little voice in my head needs to hear nice things. My soul needs to hear nice things. So whether I’m saying it out loud to myself, or just talking with my kids about how wonderful our life is and what we get to do in a day, all of it is so important.
Be a willing participate of patience and practice. No, you may not publish a book within a year, but does that mean you should’t be writing? No, you may not be in an anxiety attack, but does that mean you don’t meditate? No, you may not have an achey body, but does that mean you don’t work on moving it in class? And with all of that said, when the brow is furrowed, and the practice doesn’t produce perfect results (oh, hi anxiety and wonky essay), you try and remain patient with yourself. And yes, you continue to participate in the practice of it all.
Are there ways that you manage your self worth (and self care) especially in the fall and winter? I would love to know.
(Photographs by Rikki Wright for LaTonya Yvette)