Taking Care

“Take care.”

We often say goodbye to friends and colleagues with this simple phrase, sometimes without realizing the implication: I want you to take care of yourself. Why?

These words express our desire to see our loved ones happy and healthy. What goes unsaid, and often unrecognized, is that care begins with the self. We identify this responsibility when encouraging our friends to “take care”, but when it comes to our own lives, self-care is often the first duty to be sacrificed at the altar of a busy life.

Megan of Pink O’Clock recently wrote on being kind to ourselves and shared a list of the ways she takes care of herself. The little niceties–coffee at a favorite shop, a pause for ten deep breaths in the middle of the day, taking five minutes to make home a clean and inspiring place–add up to bring greater joy and peace in a difficult world. Megan’s post has been on my mind since I read it, and today I want to share the ways I try to take care of myself.

· Making and drinking pour-over coffee
· Cooking lavish dinners just for me
· Choosing a job I love
· Indulging my desire to buy ridiculous floral rompers when thrifting
· Taking myself on dates
· Embracing a challenge
· Reading before going to bed
· Journaling
· Spending time outside whenever possible
· Hosting friends over the weekend
· Taking inspiration from high school students
· Dark chocolate
· Speaking kindly
· Treating myself to 50¢ books from the library
· Writing letters
· Being assertive about my wants and needs
· Reading Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living
· Going to bed early
· Calling and emailing my parents regularly
· Burning soy candles in the evening
· Apologizing when I’ve done something hurtful or wrong
· Single malt scotch
· Crafts
· Finishing what I start
· Unplugging from my cell phone, computer, etc.
· Walking along the beach
· Growing vegetables at home (or at least trying to)
· Picking up unique foods at the grocery store to try new dishes
· Entering conflict with an outcome-oriented mindset
· Smiling as often as possible
· Not making excuses for needing personal time
· Finding a reason to celebrate every day
· New nailpolish
· Ukulele singalongs with Emily
· Brunch with my sisters
· Trips home to Virginia
· Setting work/life boundaries and holding fast
· Trips to Mitsuwa for real ramen
· Silly emails about everything with my high school girlfriends
· Sending thank you notes when called for and just because
· Waking up early on weekends to get things done

The coolest part of all this is that posts by two other bloggers, Meg and Mary, inspired Megan to write her post, which in turn inspired me. I hope the effect will ripple and encourage you to reflect on how you show yourself kindness, whether that takes the form of a journal entry, a private meditation, or your own blog post.

Take care, friends.


About Humble Foodie

While we both love to eat well, life as AmeriCorps volunteers doesn’t afford us the budget to try every new restaurant and type of cuisine. With many post-graduate expenses and limited financial resources, what’s a foodie to do? The answer is here, at The Humble Foodie. Instead of spending our hard-earned cash paying other people to cook for us, we’re spending as frugally as possible making delicious meals at home.
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13 Responses to Taking Care

  1. Aw, thank you so much for the blog-love, Alicia–but more importantly, thank you for sharing your list! I just love it. Wasn’t it nice to write all of those down?

    • Alicia says:

      It was! Writing the list brought a smile to my face and really made me think about how I do (and sometimes don’t) include these practices in my daily life. It is a good list to come back to at this moment.

  2. As I was awake in bed last night, I was adding things to my “Take Care of Yourself” list! Love that Megan started a chain reaction of something so positive. As I’m working on self confidence, my Take Care of Yourself list, has also morphed into a “These Are The Things That Make You Feel Strong” list. Loving your list, Alicia, especially the uke singalong. Those are my favorite too 🙂

    • Alicia says:

      The chain reaction is great. I would love to see your list! I also really like the idea of a “These Are the Things That Make You Feel Strong” list, or maybe one of things that make you feel beautiful, or healthy. They’re all interwoven.

  3. Conni Stock says:

    I loved this post! I am in the throws of change… downsizing from 30 years of life, moving, children graduating and my 50th birthday countdown… not to mention…staying the course with #whole30 and crossfit. This post made me smile and remember why I am simplifying… so I can “take care of myself”! I will compile my list today and know that you inspired me!

    • Alicia says:

      Conni, that is a lot of change to go through at one time! I could certainly benefit from some more simplifying. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself through it all and I look forward to reading your list.

  4. Sarah says:

    Great post! I think this will be rippling on over to a post on my blog:)

    Such an important reminder.

  5. Julie says:

    Such a great idea, especially today. I read this earlier on my phone and bookmarked it for later so I could comment (doing so on the phone is so hard) and now that I’m back here after reeling re: the news about Boston…just reading this made me feel so much calmer. Think I’ll be making a list tonight, too. Thanks for a place of calm today, Alicia.

    • Alicia says:

      Julie, I’m glad that this post resonated in the midst of tragedy. When I came home last night, I went to my room and had some “processing time” aka letting it all soak in and crying. Allowing ourselves time to grieve, then integrating additional self-care, is an important part of the healing routine. I really am thankful that you read it and that it brought some calm yesterday.

  6. Really great list Alicia! And such an important thing to do. I often find myself taking care of everything and everyone else — and then forgetting about me.

    I also love your opening paragraph talking about saying ‘take care’ to others. It actually reminded me of the movie Pretty Women. Vivian and Kit say a couple times to each other “Take Care of You” when they are saying goodbye. It become something that my best friend, Steph, and I would say to one another throughout college…and still do occasionally.


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