Saturday, February 1, 2020

Self Care

I had an epiphany a thoughtful realization a little bit ago. I gathered up the will to ride the Peloton after I had a pretty rough day at work today. I wanted to sit on my ass and watch rom-coms, but instead did some dishes and jumped on the bike. After a 15 minute class, during which I listened to a tiny little woman tell me how easy it was while I huffed and struggled, I settled in to do a "Zen in 10" meditation. 

The meditation is a Peloton program. I've taken to doing them after my rides, as a sort of way to center and bring myself back down. I was doing this meditation when I had the realization. You always hear people talking about "self care" and doing something for yourself, taking time to yourself. While I thought I knew what that meant, I literally had no idea. No idea. Zero clue.

I've always had this idea that self care meant lounging in a bubble bath with a pint of ice cream, a cup of tea, and reading a romance novel. Or, that it meant scarfing down a box of cupcakes while drinking a bottle of wine and binging on Netflix. But, I never was able to connect with these modes of self-care, even though I tried. Don't get me wrong, I love a good romance novel, but those things never felt like self care to me. Or, not self-improving self care, anyway.

Then, while trying to enjoy my meditation with my dog barking (not a euphemism) and my legs burning, I realized that despite my earlier assumptions, self care did not mean easy. It didn't mean making no effort. Sometimes, self care is painful and difficult. Sometimes it's pushing just a little bit beyond your limits or trying just a little bit harder. It means doing something that's good for you, even if you're tired, unmotivated, or unfocused. It means riding the Peloton and putting in the best effort even when you don't want to. It means trying to focus on the meditation even when you mind keeps wandering. It means ignoring the craving for Krispy Kreme not because of calories, but instead because they're not vegan and you're doing your damn best.

Today was my first day of conscious self care. I finally understand what it means. And you know what, I'm on my fifth straight week riding the Peloton and my second full month as a vegan, and I'm doing my damn best.