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I asked a question on Instagram the other day to my fellow brothers, “How do you practice self care in your daily life?”
I didn’t expect anyone to answer. My assumption is we are mostly ignorant to what “self care” really means. Women are much more enlightened and have been brave pioneers on this subject.
It’s almost too awkward for us to talk about with each other.
I rolled my eyes and chucked at one friend answering, “Brushing my teeth!” Another said, “Bubble bath.”
But what if they were serious? The first friend is a father of two young kids, and in that beautiful chaos, brushing his teeth may be a big win for daily self care. The other friend has great taste, and works long hours. He could very well appreciate a bubble bath.
They were probably joking but if they were serious, I commend them.
The response I related with the most was, “I don’t even know.” It’s a sense of feeling off guard, that I could find out the answer but I haven’t given myself permission to go searching.
Why? Because when it comes to self care, I tell myself I’m one of the lucky people who makes a living from what I love to do. Isn’t that the ultimate form of self care?
Don’t I have a responsibility to take what I learn about myself and channel it into my work? And if the work I get to do is important and meaningful, there’s no time to waste.
I learned how to work hard from my parents. They didn’t work for fulfillment, rather survival. I’m not fighting for survival, and yet I work like my life depended on it.
There’s this self imposed guilt I am working to overcome—a penance for getting to live this charmed, harmonious life compared to my parents, or others around me.
The reasons all get twisted around my sense of worth, upbringing, and what culture deems important.
But in in the end, it comes down to whether or not I am taking care of myself. I’m learning to listen to myself, it feels awkward and indulgent, but I know it’s worth it.
Follow Along Upstream
And feel a little less alone on your quest to your most courageous work.