I get in the shower and let the hot water rush onto my body. I stand there for a minute or so. Just being. Then I shampoo and wash my hair, sometimes pretending I'm standing under a waterfall like I used to pretend when I was a kid. My body begins to relax as my shoulders move away from my ears, my forehead relaxes, eyebrows un-tense, spine settles.
Then my big moment of self-care arrives: I open a jar of sugar scrub and scoop some into both hands. I move my hands across my chest, shoulders, elbows. I sometimes gently scrub my c-section scar.
I imagine that I'm sloughing off the pieces of the day. The stuff that doesn't serve me anymore. I imagine that I'm clearing the way for whatever is to come, for the shiny newness underneath the old.
Sometimes I even purposefully take a shower to slough off a particularly hard day or conversation that didn't go as planned. I imagine that I am pulling out the energy that's settled inside me from the experience. Gently rubbing in circles across my heart, down my arms, sometimes even ever so gently across my face.
Scrubbing. Sloughing. Gently clearing away.
A simple act of self-care that reminds me that I get to choose what I hold onto. I get to choose how I react to my day. And it simply makes me feel good too.
I really love my time in the shower. The quiet space of water and warmth brings me back to center. I am one of those people who has a lot of really good ideas in the shower, so I keep dry erase markers in the bathroom so I can write the ideas onto the mirror when I get out so I don't forget them. I can focus in while also relaxing enough so that ideas can rise up to the surface. I also find myself feeling all the feelings in the shower, and it cocoons me so I can feel a sense of space just for me.
But with a little one around, sometimes shower time becomes a time when she wants to talk with me while sitting on the stool in front of this sink or look at a book while just being in the bathroom with me or just peek in to see what I'm up to. This practice of sloughing is off is one I can turn to even when my time alone has become time to chat with Mama. I can still choose to inhale the lavender and be right here even when my daughter is chattering away about what playground we're going to go to when I get out of the shower.
Self-care doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to look like what someone else is doing. It just needs to fill you up. Yes. Yes. Yes.
A few of my favorite scrubs: