This last Sunday, I taught my ten-year-old girl about self-care. As I write this we’re capping off an incredible time in Spain, courtesy of the generous direct sales company I work with. We’re here on Mallorca at the gorgeous Park Hyatt, and among other fab amenities, there’s a killer spa. Since Bebe was sporting a spider bite that had her eye looking like a prize fighter’s after several rounds and couldn’t do a water sports excursion with John and Nate, I took the golden opportunity to treat her to her first-ever spa treatment: foot reflexology and an oil hair treatment with scalp massage. Yes, it was as yummy as it sounds.
We began by toasting to our “chick date” in the waiting room over strawberry and watermelon juice, as Bebe excitedly filled out her questionnaire and picked her post-treatment tea. Then we were whisked off to the locker room so I could help her get in a much-too-big robe and flip flops, which made her look even more adorable.
Our therapists escorted us to our treatment room, Bebe grinning from ear to ear. And it was clear within seconds of the first part of the decadence—the foot wash with salt scrub—that my mini-but-better was going to enjoy this kind of pampering as much as her mama.
When we were sitting in the relaxation room post-treatments, sipping tea and relishing that we had the whole place to ourselves, Bebe said to me, “Well no wonder you love this whole spa thing.”
“Yes, baby girl,” I told her. “It’s part of what I like to do for self-care.” And then I proceeded to explain to her what self-care means, “It’s anything that helps you protect and improve your mental and physical health.”
But I didn’t stop there. I explained to her that self-care doesn’t require expensive treatments or even going somewhere. It doesn’t even have to cost a thing. I pointed out then when she takes the time to do something she loves and that makes her feel joy or calm—like reading, working on her mandala coloring books, putting on music and dancing her heart out—she’s practicing self-care.
“Well maybe we can do this again if I do really well at school or in a musical or something,” Bebe suggested.
“Sure, honey, we can do this again to mark a special occasion, but it’s really important that you understand something,” I countered. “You never ever want to make doing self-care dependent upon you achieving something. Taking care of your health and well-being isn’t something to earn, it’s something we’re born deserving because we’re a human being.”
She nodded earnestly, and I added, “So let this be the start of you recognizing that everyday, you should take time to do something for yourself, to make you healthier and happier. Even if it’s singing in the shower, because I know that gives you joy.”
While I’m sharing my conversation with my ten-year-old, the lessons are just as important no matter what our age. Self-care is essential for all of us, but are you taking time every day to do something for your well-being? If not, is there a voice in your head telling you that you don’t deserve it? I call bullshit. Or that you don’t have time for it? Again, bullshit, because I know you can find five or ten minutes a day if you stop endlessly scrolling social or turn off the TV or say No to the things you don’t want to do but think you Should.
So Sister, comment below with what self-care practices you love or what you pledge to start doing for yourself. Because you deserve it just the way you are.