Self care 2.0


There is nothing more grown up lady with her sh*t together than getting your teeth cleaned, it is both basic care and totally decadent. I know this because I recently saw a hygienist for the first time in my life. Every time I went to the dentist he would say, 'You should see the hygienist.' And I'd be like, 'You should see my student loan.' I just wanted him to patch up any obvious holes and send me on my way. I even convinced myself it was a bit of a scam. You know, people are getting much better at this oral hygiene malarky, so lets add in some pointless extras to make up the pennies. So, I don't know why on my last visit I acquiesced, possibly because the mags at my dentist are sooo good and I wanted to hang out in the waiting room for an extra twenty minutes and finish Marie Claire, but I did. 

My first teeth cleaning was not what I was expecting, I'm not actually sure what I was expecting, certainly less sharp implements. Afterwards I ran my tongue over my teeth and they felt really, really clean. Not just debris free and vaguely minty but seriously clean, like they had never been used before. I went through the rest of my day feeling significantly more pulled together; I felt like I could open my bills, rather than just piling them on the kitchen counter; I felt like I might actually eat some kale. Teeth cleaning wasn't just a pointless extra, it was a message to myself that I am worth more. 

I often advocate for self care. I'm always telling my friends to take time for themselves, and I mean it. I always thought I did the same for myself. On this day I reflected on my version of self care and saw that it's pretty weak. A morning in bed eating Cheetos is definitely low level self care, lovely, but very low on the totem pole of looking after oneself. For my son care means nutritious food; consistent, tailored education and daily, sometimes hourly cuddles. For me it means eating semi regularly and the occasional bath bomb. I've never had a problem with putting my son first but isn't our primary task as a parent to be a role model? What am I teaching my child if he sees me letting myself crumble to pieces, teeth first. 

This month, I'm embracing self care 2.0. What are the things I need that will really elevate me? Perhaps I will visit an chiropractor for my totally dodgy neck; maybe I will finally commit to a yoga practice. Maybe I'll discover that if I upgrade how I look after myself, I will level up my entire life. 

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