I do my best to keep the practice of not working on Sundays. There's a reason the seventh day was made for rest, after all. For the past few months, I've been making time on Sundays for refilling my body and soul; I am making efforts to get in a better routine of self care. That means anything from spending time with family, napping, cuddling with my puppies, napping, making good conversation with my husband without distractions, walking, napping (I like naps), taking a hot bath, creating and (another favorite) sitting in silence surrounded by nature. I'm stepping outside of my habits today to share part of my self-care journey with you while it is fresh on my heart and I have the words to say what I mean.
Today, part of my self care was opening a book that took me three years to crack the cover and has taken me two years to get to the midway point. This book is both thrilling and unnerving. It's the source of both joyful and disquieting self-examination. In the oddest of ways perhaps, it is a source of self care.
You see, the woman who wrote this book, as an autobiography and memoir of her own struggle with bi-polar disorder, seems like she wrote MY biography. Her experiences, her actions, her struggles - they resonate with me on a deep level. For so long I've felt alone in my bi-polar. I've felt alone in the darkness of my depression. I've felt alone in the joys of my mania, never sure which loneliness is worse - not having someone who understands the depth of the pain in the darkness or the emptiness of seeing the most beautiful moments and experiencing the highest levels of joy and having no one to share that experience with. Now, don't get me wrong, I have wonderful people in my life whom I am incredibly thankful for that love me and share space with me and share deep relationships with me but, the pain of being alone in my experiences with my bi-polar... that is a loneliness I struggle with.
That's where Kay comes in. I've never met her but I feel like I've known her my whole life. I feel like she's me - the me that knows every nook and cranny of who I am, the me that gets my existence. The Me that can relate and explain to me in my struggles what's going on, where I need to be careful and how to take care of myself. On many levels, reading this book allows me the opportunity and perspective to care for myself. It reinforces my confidence that I am not alone; it helps me watch for signs no one else may see but I may notice and helps me know how to care for myself during these times. It helps me accept me for me - especially when I'm struggling.
Through my own journey, I've come to learn that self-care can come in many forms. Accepting and learning about You is a big part of that care. Setting aside time for your mind, body and heart to recover is an integral part of that routine as well. So, after turning a few pages while cuddled with my pups and giving myself the opportunity for introspection, I'm going to take a nap and continue this #selfcaresunday routine.