Self-Care by Any Other Name
Written by Aziza founder, Laila Ghattas
One of my favourite things to do with my 88 yr old Dad is to lunch at a local Middle East restaurant. The staff all love him and there’s a waitress who is especially attentive to us.
A while ago we went there for my birthday lunch and she was quite surprised to learn my age. My answer to this fortunate response is I’m happy in my life and I’ve noticed happy people generally look younger.
She volunteered she’s not happy at all- in fact quite the opposite. She admitted she was exhausted and had no life outside of constantly caring for her children and husband.
There was nothing in her life about her, no corner that she could call her own.
This had taken its toll on her mood and health with chronic back pain and stress….
I decided to follow a hunch and asked if I could share some ideas on how to remedy this problem. I suggested she book a Groupon massage, something budget friendly and easy to do. This would be her first massage!
The suggestion was to go with a girlfriend, and be sure to be explicit in direction about her body ailments.
I also encouraged her to go out with her friend after the massage for coffee, make it a real girl’s night out.
And not talk about the kids or spouses.
To this she only stared, as if I was speaking another language. It was utterly out of her realm of experience to not focus all her attention on her family, even when they weren’t around!
I suggested that she and her friend make a rule for the outing- only talk about themselves: their thoughts, wishes, dreams, hopes, memories… She promised she’d try this experiment as we left.
Two months passed and recently I lunched there again with Dad and was curious if she’d done my homework.
She proclaimed, “Laila, you give the best advice!”
She loved the massage, said it was a beautiful positive experience. Afterwards, she and her friend did go out and only talk about themselves, no kids allowed in the chat!
What was particularly satisfying for me to hear was that it was such a wonderful experience that she and her friends have made EVERY FRIDAY a girls night out where they talk about everything except family.
This woman was clearly transformed. She looked younger, her disposition lighter, lively, engaged, refreshed.
AHHHHH self care by any other name... works wonders.
If you find your well is empty, focusing on yourself can fill it up again.
It’s really healthy to be selfish.
Because if you don’t look after yourself, who will?
And if you don’t take care of your needs, you won’t be able to help meet the needs of those in your life.
Expanding your repertoire of conversation can be a wonderful adventure. There’s so much more to you than your beloved family. Go ahead, put yourself first.
Find out or simply remember who you are.
free to send comments here.