Solitude and Self-Care

February rain snakes down my windows; me, curled up on the sofa with tea and a new book; only the occasional rumble of the dryer as my soundtrack.

I have spent the last five days standing in solidarity with teachers, snowplow drivers, corrections officers, carpenters, teaching assistants, and thousands others to fight against a proposed bill to remove all collective bargaining rights from unions in the state of Wisconsin. I have brought food, screamed until I was hoarse, cried at the outpouring of emotions, lost my hearing a few times, done yoga for peace in the middle of a crowd, and stood in silent protest. I have spent less time at home than I have in public.

Today I practice self-care.

Today I am reading, drinking tea, taking a bath, eating chocolate. Today I slept in. Today I let my cat determine when I would get up from a nap. Today I catch up on email and television shows and my website and yes, even this blog.

I have long believed that we can share near limitless resources of ourselves in the service of others. That there is no task too great that we cannot do to support those we love and believe in. I am often thought of as an "energizer bunny" when it comes to energy, enthusiasm, and a willingness to help.

But even I have my limits. And as I grow up and mature into my own skin, I can recognize just how important self-care is. The sitting in silence, the going for a long walk through the woods, the sleeping just five more minutes. Each of these things is giving my heart and mind the safe, quiet space to rest, to breathe deeply, and to rejuvenate my spirit so that tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next, I can be present to witness and to support those who are fighting for basic rights.

Because this proposal doesn't just affect unions. It affects the state's three major health insurance programs, including my own health insurance.

How are you practicing self-care today? What is your favorite way to do so?