I just don’t always practice what I preach. So here it is, after 8 p.m. and I’m eating cold cereal for dinner and trying to catch up with work. Why? Because it’s been one of those days when other people needed me. It’s been one of those days when their issues truly were life or death. It’s been one of those days that what mattered most was that I was there for those I love.
So self-care looks like cereal after dark. There just might be ice cream, too, because that is guaranteed to bring me joy. And you know what?
If I was talking to a friend or a colleague who’d had a day, I’d remind her to be gentle with herself. I’d remind her that some days doing our best is really what it’s all about. I’d remind her that tomorrow is another day, and that there are vitamins in her cereal and much needed calcium in the milk.
I’d encourage her to give herself grace, and to breathe deeply before thinking what she didn’t accomplish. Then I’d suggest she refocus and give herself credit for what she did do: she was there for those who need her. She listened. She hugged. She made a difference.
I remember days like this in the classroom. Days that seemed harder than others, days that left me wrung out and exhausted, wondering if anything I did stuck.
I know now that it stuck, even though I was exhausted and frustrated and probably late for something. I made a difference in lives.
So do you.
So go ahead…have the cereal. Or the ice cream. Or watch the show you’ve been meaning to but haven’t. Or curl up with a book that’s been sitting on your shelf for far too long. Or snuggle under the blankets with your kids even though the dishes aren’t done and you still have things to do.
Every now and then a little indulgence is good for the soul. And you deserve it.