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Self-care: Not a Special Treat

Originally published at: https://www.masondixonknitting.com/self-care-not-special-treat/

Treats, like a day at the beach, are by definition an occasional thing. Self-care? Can actually be every day.

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Just wait I needed to start this day. Thanks!

I would love to know what other people do for self care and treats. I was pretty much raised by wolves which meant I learned a lot from my own daughters. * I just re read this and it sounded odd. I guess I meant to say that I did not think any thing about self care growing up. I was pretty much a flower child. (it will all come out in the memoir, lol) I did learn a lot from my lovely daughters, who are very good at both self care and treats.
I like massages. But I hate spending money!! I do go for manicure every so often, just to trim the hoofs, But mostly I like taking workshops and meeting other makers. I have done one wth Kay in NYC. Hi Kay! I did a one day workshop with Natalie Chanin in Beacon NY. I even treated myself to a week “painting experience” workshop at Omega. I am doing another painting experience workshop in February, in NYC, a gift from my kids for my 60th birthday. There used to be a local artist who had a workshop space in my town, and I took a soul card work shop there as well as a jewelry class and a printing class. I find these learning experiences to be so important. I love to connect with other makers and see what they are doing. I have also done many writing workshops, and some online journaling workshops. Most recently I did the Masterclass workshop for screenwriting. These learning experiences are are the way I nourish myself. I don’t think I would call them treats, although they are not daily self care.They def keep me sane. For treats I am more likely to turn to food. That is why I am round. I think I need to find another kind of treat.
I hope more people chime in here. I need some inspiration for healthy treats! and thanks for a great topic!

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I think this topic is fascinating. What is the thing that helps us keep it together?

My go-to treat that makes me feel virtuous and also happy: almond butter on an apple or a banana. I’m so hooked on this! My brand of choice is Trader Joe’s Salted Crunchy Almond Butter, because it’s loose and goopy and SALTY. Hubbo likes it unsalted, but I’m all: what is the POINT?

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Hi Martha!

I feel the same way about learning experiences, and I include my sewing circle as both self-care and a treat (a treat because it’s not daily and I look forward to it).

Same as you, I get the occasional mani/pedi for hoof-trimming purposes, but I tend to be bored by them and put them off until the hooves are truly a disgrace requiring intervention.

Sitting outdoors with a hot beverage, weather-permitting.

Reading a book in bed in the middle of the afternoon.

Warm bath with epsom salts, baking soda, and a few drops of lavender oil (if I have any). (Did you know that you need magnesium and the best way to get it is through your skin, via epsom salts?) I always feel like I just got home from the ashram after that.

Knitting all day in my PJs, occasionally foraging for snacks.

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I learned about sesame seed butter, too, when I was on the whole 30. Not salty tho.

I know! I hate sitting there for an hour!

I actually boarded up our bath tub and slapped a cushion on it. It is an ancient behemoth and once the kids were bigger it served us better as a bench. Now it is in use as a diaper changing area.
Sometimes I miss it though. I did not know that about magnesium.

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It’s all fun and games until it’s “mani” time and I have to stop knitting.

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I love your thoughts on what self-care means. I’m trying to get a small group of similarly minded hand-work people together in my new hometown. I want the sisterhood, inspiration and simple pleasure of it all.

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Martha,

I love how you include making and learning in self-care. Self-care should nourish the body and the mind.

We’ve had a really rough year this year, and one thing that has happened as a result is that I have pursued self-care with a vengeance. I have tried new things, renewed my commitment in old things (like mani/pedis and yoga), and been rather relentless about seeking out new experiences in the same of self-care. The three most impactful things I’ve tried this year have been floating in a sensory deprivation tank, visiting a psychic medium, and learning to sew. They are all things that go in my self-care tool box now.

Right now, I’m in a full length leg cast, week two, with at least a month to go, so I am quite envious of all of you who can get pedicures and take epsom salt baths. Hell, I’m jealous of folks who can enjoy hot beverages without needing to have someone around to carry the beverage for them.

I’ve had to rethink self-care to adjust to my new circumstances. . . still working on it!

Susan

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Another self care thing for me is daily writing. I have been slacking off on it in the last couple of months and my life is not the same without it. And I don’t mean assignments or project writing but good old Julia Cameron Morning Pages. I think I need to re start.

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Keep us updated on the memoir!

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Gosh, Susan–at this point, “air on skin” would feel like an excellent self-care experience, I’m sure. Wishing you strength for this last month!

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Nell, I’d be really interested to hear how your small group forms and gets on. A mentor of mine, Kelly Diels, likes to talk about how self-care for women is best done in community. (I think I may have already written about that…) I think it’s both a solo and group activity, and I personally could use a lot more on the group side. So keep us posted if you like - I think there’s a lot to be learned here. Thank you :slight_smile:

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Oooh, being in a cast is so hard! You’ve probably already worked out a solution to the hot drink dilemma, but your comment made me flash back: coffee in a thermos, cup and thermos and paper towel (just in case) in a bag hung from crutches, or occasionally around my neck. Whatever works!

I hope you are keeping yourself occupied. I know how it feels to be incapacitated. Time does get slower when you are uncomfortable. What things for self care have you come up with?
I have some thoughts about what you can do while in a cast, if you care to read on. If not, I won’t be offended if you stop right here.
Creativebug is offering a 1 dollar subscription for their classes. There are some nice workshops there. Book binding, watercolor and calligraphy are some classes that I have taken. Sometimes it is enough to just browse and daydream about the things I would like to try.
I also enjoy hand stitching. Lots of inspiration on Pinterest, Alabama Chanin, and also Inklingo if you want to make a quilt. Thank goodness for the internet.
Hope your recovery is speedy!
edited to add of course I assume that you love knitting, and that, in and of itself, is plenty!

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Oh, thank you so much! The first week or two I was in a lot of pain and on a lot of pain meds, so I really couldn’t do much more than watch tv, and even that was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, Netflix and On Demand make it easy to re-watch or rewind when I’ve fallen asleep during a show. I also knit three strips of the Station Wagon Blanket (now on hiatus for holiday knitting).

Now that I’m feeling a little better, I’ve started tackling more complicated things. I’m just finishing the first of a pair of easy socks for a Christmas gift, and I’ve been able to focus enough to read.

I just started hand stitching in October, and I have an Alabama Chanin kit that arrived the week before my accident. It’s waiting for me, but I’m not yet at the point where I trust myself enough to start cutting that. It’s funny you should mention Creativebug because I have really been enjoying watching the sewing classes. I will have to investigate some of the others.

For other self care, I enjoy getting air on my skin when I go in for my weekly (now biweekly) cast changes - the techs are good about taking the old cast off as soon as I get there, so I have maximum cast-free time. Today, one of them rubbed my leg down with alcohol (except for the stapled area) and it was divine. As I’m starting to feel better, stretching, even the limited stretching I can do, feels really nice as well. I also find joy in snuggling with my Lab/Great Dane mix, hot cups of tea in real clay mugs (versus the plastic/thermos that I can manage when I’m home alone), and coloring (in my MDK coloring book).

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I LOVE it when I go in for PT or the like, and I get a little spontaneous rubdown or massage or just plain hands-on human contact. Heaven!

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I had to laugh when I received the alcohol rub down after my cast was taken off - my grandmother was a great believer in the power of rubbing alcohol. It was her go-to solution for almost anything, much like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding with his Windex. My husband is Central American, so he’s like that with Vicks Vapor Rub.

Fun fact: my husband has been complaining about his hands bothering him, and medical tests revealed no problems, so it is likely either arthritis or just plain fatigue. He didn’t want to start a steady diet of ibuprofen or the like, so he looked up topical remedies and came to me with a recipe to relieve muscle pain that herbally matched a salve that his grandmother in Guatemala used to make. I googled the ingredients for Vicks, and they matched exactly. So, Vicks may be a wonderful new self care idea that has old roots.

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