Over the weekend, we were invited to be the guests on a podcast run by a friend of ours, Nicolina Nicthe, a local artist and comedienne. Her weekly show is called Women, Wit, and Wine, and is a humor-tinged (and adult-oriented) podcast focusing on exploring women's issues through the alcohol tinted haze of sampling local wines. I was honored to be accorded the status of "Honorary Woman" during the hour of our participation, which we spent discussing the subjects of Self-Care and Nurturing.
Lor and I went into the show expecting that our input would be largely focused on our efforts towards self-care via our bariatric surgeries this year. While we did touch on the subject briefly, it turned out that Lor's training as a Massage Therapist quickly became our point of focus, and she was able to discuss a wide range of self-care topics with our host, while I provided mostly comic relief via my embarrassment as I drowned in a sea of estrogen. The topics ranged widely, from filling empty vessels, to stress-based illness, to the self-care value of artistic endeavors. While I would encourage anyone with 80 minutes to spare to hit Nicolina's Facebook page to listen to the broadcast in its entirety, I thought a few points from our discussion stood out, and deserved to be repeated here:
1. Take ownership of your self-care before taking ownership of caring for anyone else: The subject kept returning to the subject of "pouring from an empty vessel" - the concept that a person can only pour so much out of themselves before they are tapped out and no longer able to provide for themselves, much less anyone else. If you want to be able to care for those around you (whether friends, a spouse/partner, or children), you need to have a renewable source of personal emotional energy.
2. Pursue your bliss: One of the best ways to care for yourself is to pursue your own interests. Don't force yourself to try a diet/exercise plan/new life philosophy if you aren't really interested in it. The most valuable self-renewal exercise is one that you will do - whether that is running a triathlon, or learning how to create pottery. Don't embrace someone else's passion - find your own.
3. Carve "me time" out of your schedule: The idea that we can find hours a day for self-care is laughable for most of us, given our busy schedules. So don't start by looking for hours a day. Set aside a few minutes a day (get up earlier, take a shorter lunch, go to bed a little later) and sit alone and breathe. That's it - simple as that. Your body will get used to the feeling and will start demanding more, inspiring you to find ways to create more self-time. But don't start big - start small, and ramp up.
Thanks again to Nicolina for her invitation to participate in her exciting new project, and we look forward to watching as Women, Wit, And Wine expands its reach and audience over the new year and years to come.
Feeling Like Something Is Missing Since I Lost My "Woman" Status,