I’ve been sharing a lot of personal stories lately. Somehow I feel better when I do. I don’t know how this fits into my overall ‘marketing strategy’ for the Mercantile but it seems to resonate with so many of you + it is healing for me. Win win.
That feels like a pretty appropriate segue into what has been so important for me lately, self care. Self care takes so many forms for me. I’m learning that it isn’t just about a bubble bath and Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit Refresher here and there. It is so. much. more. (But seriously have you had the M+D Refresher?! So. Good.)
I saw a meme recently of a low battery that read ‘You wouldn’t let this happen to your phone. Don’t let it happen to you either. Self care is a priority, not a luxury’ and you know what? I felt that.
I used to quote Donna & Tom from Parks and Rec and say ‘Treat yo self!’ while getting a pedi, heading through the Starbucks line, or buying a new pair of shoes. Then I’d immediately file it under self care.
Then my pretty normal, low-key life was flipped upside down. For the first time in my life I was hit with a truly traumatic experience. It was hands down the hardest time of my life and exposed me to my new, personal meaning of self care. These ‘tools’ would become crucial to my journey of surviving this trauma, and eventually, thriving in it.
When you go through something devastating, there are so many things that come to the surface. For me it was identifying that I suffer from anxiety, learning how to deal with the extreme ends of the emotional spectrum, and the need to repair broken relationships that were left unchecked for too long. I could have let that pain overcome me (and if I’m honest it did for awhile) or I could process it and grow from it. That is the route I would ultimately choose and thus began my journey of impactful self care.
I started talking to a therapist. Managed my anxiety through medication. Talked openly and thoughtfully to my sister, one of the smartest people I know. Listened to podcasts and read articles. Learned how to depuff my face after a night of crying. (Freezer, meet Therapy Migraine Mask.) Removed myself from situations that didn’t serve me. Parted ways with things that were not adding value to my life. Went back to the Mercantile. Wrote posts like these. Became vulnerable with strangers. Reconnected with my kids. Forgave people. Fulfilled life-long dreams.
Those things truly can be filed under self care. They replenish my soul when the day to day stresses of life deplete my batteries. I still do a Starbucks run (ehem, daily) and treat myself when I can, but I’ve learned to distinguish between what adds value to my life and what makes me feel better in the moment.
So let me leave you with this. Treatin’ yo self is great and 9 times out of 10 I won’t pass up the opportunity to do so. Just remember, you were made for so much. We all were. Do you what you need to do to survive...but do it so that someday you can truly thrive.
XO - Taylor