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Self Care is not Self Indulgence

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

I remember when I was a freshman in college I was on my way to school when suddenly I felt a shortness of breath. I had trouble breathing and my heart was racing. My body was experiencing something it never felt before. At first, I thought I was having a heart attack so I got off the train and went straight to my doctor. My doctor asked me a few questions, then he scheduled me an appointment to see a heart specialist. An EKG was done on me and the results were back within a few days. He told me “ Ms. Jenkins you are fine and everything is normal.” Most people would have got a second opinion, but I on the other hand didn't question my doctor or seek a second opinion. A few weeks later while at school it happened again I immediately left and went home. During this time I had a lot on my plate. I was looking for a job, the school was getting hectic and my mind was occupied with a lot of things. It took me a few years to realize my body was trying to tell me to slow down. Every time I was sick and hospitalized there were signs prior telling me to slow down and relax, but I ignored them. By ignoring those signs it took a major toll on my body. I realized there was a correlation when I am overwhelmed, stressed, or just need a break from life, my body showed me signs.

In life, we are so busy trying to meet deadlines and personal goals that we don't have time to rest, relax and regroup. We put so much pressure on ourselves when we feel like we are not living up to society's expectations and that alone can take a toll on your body. I find myself pouring so much into a lot of things that I feel like there just isn't enough time in a day to enjoy life. I am neglecting what’s important to me.

Two years ago I talked with myself and I made a promise that I will set time for myself, family and friends. On those days I will not think about work. My days usually consist of things that relax me, things I love and find pleasure in. It's a day I turn my phone off and don't turn on my computer. So if you send me an email there is a strong possibility I didn't even look at it. I Tumble out of bed when I want to and head for a brunch date with me myself and I. I'm a girl who loves to be pampered so a facial, massage, pedicure, and manicure are a must. I usually end my night with a good book, wine, and time to self-reflect.

Self-care is not self-indulgence, doing things that give you pleasure should never be questioned or make you feel guilty. Giving your mind and body some TLC ( tender, loving, and care) is needed. Life has so many stressors and you need something to help you cope. Your job gives you personal days for a reason, sometimes you have to use them. What are you saving them days for? I'm not saying blow all of them because you are having a bad week or month. Let's be practical, when you feel like there is a disconnect and a lot is on your plate at one time, go for it. Take that day, relaxes and don't worry about work and any other problems. Save it for another day; when your mind is right. When your mind is right, you can think clearly and be on your A-game. Keep that same energy, just like you are pouring into your job, family, relationship, etc have time to pour into yourself. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. There is only one you!

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