One of my favorite ways to love on myself is with the intimacy of food.
Self Care Socks. I may start a business that just sells socks for self-care. They’re that important to me.
I wore socks to work today. Self care socks, if you will.
I got these in Asheville. They’re like house-socks, or slippers that look like socks, or shoes that don’t do well in water. It was an extended stay in Asheville, NC. I also left with a nose piercing and enough temporary tattoos to disguise Chris’ identity if she ever needs to slink off a competitive comedy stage again.
That’s a great story. She basically challenged someone to a comedy dance-off and ended up hiding under my chair. This is why we’re friends.
When I tell her I think I hear neighbors outside and I don’t want them to hear that I’m home, and that I’m hiding in my closet with a Netflix line-up and a pound of Christmas Oreos and that I’ll slit my wrist if I have to pretend to be a perfect PTA parent right now, she’s all, “Say no to razors. Say yes to reviving inner unicorn with Chris.”
Friends don’t come better than ones who will help you revive your inner unicorn.
Which is kind of what these socks do for me. I slid into my therapy room like Tom Cruise in Risky Business and didn’t even bust my ass. I busted my ass later, while roller skating.
And then she sends me a meme. Like this one.
I hate being told to breathe. When someone tells me to breathe, I usually want to crack them in the jaw with my yoga mat. But I learned this one technique about 20 years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, Luke Francis.
I took a pregnancy yoga class, which was mainly a bunch of massively round women drinking tea and talking about episiotemies. This one technique, though, stuck with me. When I found myself using it at the dentist, to help me cope with the feeling of a needle jammed into my jaw, I realized I could use it anywhere. And I did. I still do.
4 to 8 Breathing
- Close your mouth. Breathe in to the count of 4. Fill your lungs comfortably.
- Keep mouth closed. Let that same air come out to the count of 8. Y
You’ll have to constrict your throat a little to control it so it comes out double speed. So it’s in 4, big breath, and out 8, long breath.
When I’m thinking about my breath, trying to keep it to this long-out-breath rhythm, my body relaxes without me realizing it. It just goes on autopilot. Something about those 8 breaths just makes pain of any kind tolerable.
I used that breath to cope for all 7 hours of labor. Luke was born, 9 pounds exactly. He was so fat and happy, he looked like a little buddha. We called him Buddha Baby.
French Onion Soup, or just onion soup, as they say in France, has healing properties, I’m sure of it.
Fruit Snacks For Self Care
Did you know that if you don’t shove them all in at once, each fruit snack has a different flavor? The lemon has a slight citrus note, the grape is kind of grape-y. There’s even a raspberry and a strawberry in here–slightly different reds. This is the revelation I had, while sitting on the dining room floor, eating my kid’s lunch treats.
The point of this exercise is not to pillage your children’s snack department, although that is fun in it’s own way, but to take the time to experience something in a more enjoyable way, by slowing down. Like way down.
It helps to have a six-year-old while doing this self care technique. I shared my discoveries with my son the next day, and he brightened up and sat down with me. We put them in our mouth, patiently chewed them, and compared notes. He was all, “I haven’t chewed mine yet, mom.” after I’d already bitten, tasted and swallowed my orange slice one. (Mindful little sucker. He shows me up everytime.) We compared flavors. He noticed the lemon-y-ness of the yellow one. I didn’t believe it tasted like lemon at all, but it turns out there was a sliiiight citrus taste if I breathed out of my nose. We agreed we both liked the strawberry one better than the raspberry one, the lighter red one.
It calmed me down, was pleasurable, and got me 20 minutes away from my crisis. Self care. Practiced. (Snack drop.)
Chris Gibson is the Spiritual Director at an addiction treatment center in Texas, and Hadley Earabino is a life coach and massage therapist in North Carolina.
We’re kind of a big deal in the fun department. On our girls’ trips we stop and crank the radio and show off our mad Zumba moves in gas station parking lots. (Yes, we’re both certified.) On our last beach trip, we did yoga on the beach. Picture full-on tree pose in middle-aged bikinis. Sometimes we make each other laugh so hard that other people get uncomfortable, which only makes us laugh harder. It’s not fair to keep this sh*t to ourselves! And we can’t zip it up very well anyway, so here goes….