The next few days will be busy, but busy with wonderful things. Two of my friends are getting married to each other, and it’s set to be a big, beautiful celebration with their loved ones. I’m the maid of honour, which means speeches and photos and curling my hair (which I learned to do yesterday, thank you very much!), not to mention dancing and celebrating and socializing.
I’m excited, and I also know that it’s going to be intense. So as much as I love bookmark habits, I’m also giving myself full permission to only do what I can, within reason. Self-care is so valuable, but I’m learning it also needs to be flexible, not rigid. I need to know my limits and give myself grace during times when it would feel like a burden, not a gift, to go through the motions of all my daily habits.
For example: this daily writing! I won’t be doing it for the next three days. I can choose to feel badly about that, or I can know and respect my limits. Amy Young, who taught me the concept of the “Sacred Six” daily self-care habits, talks a lot about how this practice has so much to teach us about how to care for ourselves.
Yes, doing these daily habits is a way to be kind to ourselves and practice showing up for ourselves. But she also talks about how it’s an opportunity to practice self-care and self-compassion with ourselves when we AREN’T able to do our habits in a day. Do we beat ourselves up? Feel guilty? Say mean things to ourselves?
We could do that, or we could acknowledge the hard parts with kindness and love. Remind ourselves that perfection isn’t the goal. Practice that unconditional positive regard, even if we haven’t exercised all week or eaten a green vegetable in two days. More of the latter, please!
So my goal is to know my limits and to be kind to myself when I reach them. Instead of bullying myself about my inability to do all the things, all the time, I can be gentle. Make exceptions. Skip the things I don’t have energy for. Because sometimes, dropping things is a form of self-care.