A seemingly innocent question it can feel loaded.Two times in the past two weeks I’ve been asked this question. Not because I was applying for a job. In one case it was by someone I had just met and in the second case I was catching up with someone I hadn’t seen in years. Over ten.
I’m very inspired by working in beautiful surroundings. I seek them out and relish in every detail as I type away. Sipping coffee from a mug that’s a delightful shade of blue and sits heavy in my hand, sitting in a blush colored velvet chair with the perfect height to support me as I type away, greeting people and making new connections as well.
Is this my normal working scenario?
Ummm noooo. Usually you’ll find me at my kitchen table, hunched over like Quasimodo pounding away on the keyboard with hair that needs to be brushed. Eating random crackers for lunch while standing up at the kitchen counter. Not every day, but a lot of them.
But yesterday morning, the first day of Women’s History Month, I had the opportunity to visit and work at the new(ish) location of The Wing in San Francisco. I was ready to be dazzled and I was not disappointed.
Founded by two women, each location of The Wing is a co-working space filled with perks and amenities to serve as your home away from home. Maybe, dare I say, an even better home away from home?
There are currently five locations in the US with several more slated to open this spring and into 2020. Every single corner is full of detail. I may tread on Too Much Information here but my ovaries were singing from the book shelves (all women authors, curated titles by The Strand, and color arranged, AND available for checkout), the beauty salon busting at the seems with every kind of product imaginable, and the attention to detail at every turn.
Here’s the point — This is what self-care looks like for me.
One example of many. It also looks like baking biscotti on a Monday afternoon and listening to Spotify. Or turning down a project or client because it’s not the right fit — for either of us. To be able to take a breather on a busy weekday afternoon and walk around the block or run errands in the middle of the day. All of the things.
Am I privileged to be able to have the freedom to provide myself with self-care? Yes, I am. I totally am and I’m very aware of it. I also work damn hard to organize my life very intentionally. Which is the ultimate self-care in the end. The very pinnacle.
I feel the guilt try to seep in even while typing. But I won’t let it in. We won’t. Let’s tell it to go away. It can remain on the outside, frantically knocking on the door to try and rain on our parades. While we’re inside being excellent to ourselves.
Listen. You get to decide what self-care looks like for you and create your own boundaries around it. Right now for me it’s working in and alongside other women in inspiring places. This week it was The Wing in San Francisco and next month is may be my favorite breakfast spot in Rome. Sun streaming in the windows, me sitting at table and writing before the local rush begins.
I invite you to make your self-care list
Let’s get intentional about it. I have a go-to list so when I’m feeling a bit frazzled and skipping around from task to email to notification to worry, I pull it open and select one.
Don’t limit yourself. Have some small items that you can pull out easily during the day and some show stoppers for when you really want to treat yourself. There doesn’t need to be money involved to have a juicy and robust list. One of my favorite things to do is got the library and read. DECADENT.
Or choose an ingredient to plan and cook a meal around. Put on the tunes and get out of your head a bit. But really, you don’t need me to tell you what your self-care looks like. You already know. But you may need me to give you permission to go after it guns a-blazing. I hear you and I’m here for you.
Go forth and self-care with abandon
You’re going to feel more settled and grounded for it. Which in turn helps everyone around you feel the same. A chain reaction of serenity and leveling-up. We seek others out who feel calm, happy, and just plain good. How do we get there? How do we achieve this calmness you ask? By taking the best possible care of ourselves. That’s how. And it all starts with identifying what supports and nurtures us.
Write it down. Spend some time on understanding what makes you tick. You’re worth spending time on and figuring out. Like your own little puzzle. Your tastes will change and what you need will as well. Good. Go with it. Just begin. Then when you know, it’s your most important job to follow through and make it happen.
Push the guilt away and set your boundaries. Don’t let it. Remind yourself you’re doing it for you and all the people in your world. Pour from that full cup.
- Make the list.
- You have permission.
- Make YOU a priority.
And for goodness sake, if you have the chance to check out The Wing. GO. You know, if that’s part of your self-care jam.