A day off! I hadn’t really planned anything for the day, just knew things would come up and that would be my day. Lying in bed, I decided to declare it Self-Care Day. It didn’t matter how late I stayed in bed, I would leisurely enjoy the morning, hot tea on the porch, no worries about cleaning the house or errands or any other chores to be done. But what would I actually do?? What is a self-care day? How would I incorporate it into my day? Now I had to plan my self-care day! I think that was harder than planning a week long trip for a family of 5.
The day started as usual with Kipper’s walk after putting water on for tea. It wasn’t a great weather day, but not bad either. After the walk, he ate and I fixed my tea and went to the porch. I really do enjoy sitting out there. I finally got my garden of potted plants completed. Lavender is my favorite, so, of course, it flanks the path. A few herbs and some other plants that caught my eye at the nursery, and I was all set. It’s so exciting to plant those first flowers of spring…and hope they make it through summer!
Still the planning of the day… Haven’t gotten very far with that, but had some ideas. Definitely an outing with Kipper, maybe someplace we hadn’t been. Then how about a spa day. Trouble there, I don’t have a favorite spa here, nor do I know much about any in the area. I had heard about the Salt Caves and that sounded interesting. Had to do some research because I actually wasn’t sure what it entailed! Turns out to be a session in the salt cave in a meditative setting to benefit from all of the negative ions of the surrounding salt. Why not!? Signed up for the afternoon session, and now what to do until then with Kipper. I researched several different trails around the area. Found the ones that are pet friendly and not too much for my little blind friend. He loves the walks, but I don’t like to overwhelm him. There was one close by that looked good, and after I realized how much time it took just to schedule those two activities, we needed to get going if I was to make it to the salt session.
We found the trail. Kind of obscure, but seemed known to others. We had had lots of rain the days before, so it was quite the muddy trail. More of a forest trail than a hike up a mountain. Great for Forest Bathing -gathering negative ions from the forest. A short walk from the entrance, the path forked. Which way to go? We made the decision and started on our way. Everything was so green and vibrant, hard not to be in awe of the beautiful foliage. The sound of the cascading water in the stream below us. Quite a nice walk. The path ended and we found we had to turn around. We headed back and I wanted to get a glimpse of where the other side of the fork would have taken us. We started up that path and found all sorts of wondrous sights. The babbling brooks, bridges to other paths and the radiant greenery that surrounded us. Trouble at that point was that I had to get back for my salt session. I was looking forward to it, but also really wanted to explore this forest further. An outing for another day.
I got Kipper back home and grabbed my sweater – it is cold in the cave – and headed to my appointment. This was something I’d never experienced, but thought it would be cool. The cave was amazing. Walls made of pink Himalayan salt rocks, the floor made of white salt from Poland. There were lounge chairs for relaxing, or you could choose a blanket and pillows on the salt floor. Blankets also offered to keep you warm. I chose a blanket on the floor. We learned the history of the room and salt caves before the lights dimmed and we were left to take in all of the benefits this beautiful cave had to offer.
Both the forest and the salt cave gave me a day of absorbing the negative ions around. The benefits are suppose to be wonderful for mental health as well as your physical well being. The negative ions clear the air of bacteria, pollen, mold and other allergens, helping with respiratory inflammation and irritation. They can also help with sleep, a positive mental outlook and energy levels in the brain. Now that’s a positive self-care day! Only I wasn’t really feeling more positive or more energized. What went wrong?
I thought I’d do something simple for supper. Once again, I had some fresh cherries in the fridge, so I wanted to try a little chocolate with them. I came up with a sort of candy. It wasn’t bad, I think cherry and chocolate are good together no matter what. I enjoyed my a one-pan take on a fajita with my southwest rub, a little glass of wine, the air filled
with lavender from my diffuser. Seemed like a great ending to the day.
Reflecting on my self-care day, I think I was trying too hard. Do you ever have times like that? The harder you try to make something happen, the more disappointed you are. That seemed to be my day. For me, the best part of the day was sitting on my porch, enjoying the brilliant wonders of nature. A simple walk with Kipper on our trail behind the neighborhood and maybe see where the day went after that, might have been the best path to a rejuvenating day of taking care of me. I remember when the kids were young and I would throw in a massage or pedicure here and there, those were the most rewarding moments for my own self-care. It was either planned in advance -maybe a girls weekend at a spa or an afternoon massage and facial -and something to look forward to, or just a quick trip to a nail salon to freshen up my toes and enjoy a short foot soak and massage. It never seemed complicated and I always felt like I had had my moment before getting back to the chores at hand. Now, on my own and feeling like I should do these things, it comes as such a struggle. Hard to understand, but I think I am heading into loving the simple things in life. The nature around me, my sweet little companion and the day to day joys that come up spontaneously. That is my self-care. It can happen, and it does. I just don’t have to plan so hard. I guess life takes us down that path… not planning so hard. Just enjoy. It will happen and when it does, it is something to remember!
My one-pan fajita starts with my Southwestern Rub. I love rubbing it on whatever protein I’ve chosen for the meal, or adding a sprinkle to some vegetables to liven them up a bit. Try it however you choose and let me know what you think!
2-3 Tbsp chili powder, depending on your level of heat!
½ Tsp each – crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano
1 Tsp each – garlic powder, onion powder
2 Tsp paprika
3 Tsp ground cumin
2 Tsp black pepper
In a small bowl, mix ingredients together until well blended. Store in an airtight container.