Happy July! I know for many the beginning of summer is Memorial Day or the Summer Solstice, but for me, I always think of July as truly summer and a time for restoration – maybe it is the memories of childhood summers where I read book after book while sitting in the shade. I am thrilled to announce that Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness and I are hosting a virtual Self-Care Retreat this month. The goal is to inspire a month of reflections on self-care and the many ways to nourish our minds, bodies and souls through food and beyond!
Self-care is a passion of mine as well as Cheryl’s so it was wonderful to be approached by her to focus on this month. As long-time readers may know, I have always wanted to write about more than food on this blog, and sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I need a reminder, so I am looking forward to spending time on self-care this month.
Self-care is what has helped me through years of strange body aches and pains and sinus infections and an aching tummy – early on, I figured out I needed a lot of rest, and me time. In fact, starting to blog in April of 2007 was actually a form of self-care. I was working long hours, had a nagging headache all the time, my husband and I were in different cities during the work-week, and I wanted a project for me that could be done anytime.
A couple of years ago, changing my diet to eliminate gluten, dairy and other offenders did a world of a difference – I have more energy than before, my knees and elbows no longer ache, my sinuses are semi-functional as opposed to chronically infected – but I try to remember the lessons I learned during those years of never feeling my best.
I actually learned the term self-care at a yoga retreat I blogged about in January 2009. Actually, scratch that – I had heard the term self-care before, but the retreat is when a lightbulb went off – that it was about connecting with one-self, not just making sure you get enough sleep, take your vitamins, have a nice bubble bath and so forth. I was not feeling well at the retreat – I had just come off months and months of antibiotics, moved cities, started a new job a couple of months earlier, and generally felt shell-shocked – and that retreat was very soothing and restorative.
Today, I am by no means any sort of an expert – but I do find that self-care helps balance out the long hours I put in at work, and in some areas have become fairly proficient. Food is one of them, conserving my time and maintaining boundaries, at least in my personal life, is another – but in many, especially meditation, I would be grateful for inspiration.
Every Saturday of the month, starting tomorrow, either Cheryl, I, or one of our fabulous guest hosts, which include Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily and Iris of Daily Dietribe, will post on one of the themes we chose as they relate to self-care:
- Movement – July 2
- Reflection, meditation and mindfulness – July 9
- Food – July 16
- Family/friends/pets – July 23
- Creativity – July 30
These posts are to inspire you all to make July a month of reflecting on self-care and the many ways to nourish ourselves. We encourage everyone to participate in this event in a way that feels appropriate to them, whether through personal reflection, journal or other self-care. If you would like to share your experience with self-care, we would love to include you in the experience, whether you join us for one week or every week. You can write generally about self-care, or focus on one of the themes (movement, food, family/friends/pets, creativity and meditation and mindfulness), or write every week about each of the themes. We ask that you link back to this post so that more people can learn about this retreat, and leave a comment for the weekly theme host, too!. If you would like to be included in our roundup, please email a link to your post, along with your name and blog name, to us at selfcareretreat at gmail dot com by July 30, 2011. Feel free to use the badge in your posts. Non-bloggers who would like to contribute,please email the full text to the same address and it will be included in the roundup.
See you tomorrow back here for a post on movement and over at Cheryl’s next Saturday for a post on meditation!
Be well and take care of yourselves.