When I hear the word self-care I envision excellent food delivered to my door, bubble baths, massages, and long, solitary walks along the beach. I think of pure pleasure.

But self-care is a lot more than that: it’s a lot of hard work. And why shouldn’t it be? Taking care of our kids or our spouses or our parents is hard work. Why do we think taking care of ourselves will be a breeze?

Beyond bubble baths, maybe self-care looks like:

Turning off the TV and grabbing a book instead.

Logging off Facebook in order to exercise.

Waking up early to spend some uninterrupted time praying or journaling.

Going to bed instead of crossing off one more task on the to-do list.

Doing something hard or a little bit out of our depth in order to develop a skill.

Giving away the kid’s Halloween candy because we’re the only ones still raiding it.

Saying no to something fun when it’s not in our best interest.

These things are hard! I don’t like putting myself to bed at a decent hour. And I really like Butterfingers. But as my perspective and expectations of self-care slowly shift, the easier it becomes to say yes to the hard things that make my life so much better.

Now, who wants our leftover candy?

As I’ve started speaking more, I’m writing less often. I plan to continue writing in this space about once a month. Sign up on the top right to receive new posts (never anything else) in your inbox.  If you’re interested in me speaking for your group or event, check out my speaking page. Thanks!