Women tend to think that treating themselves is selfish, that they must do it behind closed doors. You may indulge yourself, but you mask it with a reason that people may “approve of.” Maybe you took a long walk, not really having any specific direction, looking up at the tops of the buildings or the birds flying in formation BUT you snap a pic of your sneakers and hashtag it as #sweatingitout – getting totally lost in your head is only “ok” if you’ve got a reason for it.
But that isn’t true!
I think the first step to treating yourself is knowing that you deserve special treatment and owning up to how weird or odd it may sound to other people. For example, re-watching your box set of Felicity DVDs that only work on your computer (who even has a DVD player anymore?) and snacking on cold leftover potato kugel your mom/grandma/distant aunt sent you home with after Shabbat.
The next step would be to identify WHY you are treating yourself this way you'll know just HOW to treat yourself. Are you giving yourself a boost or a rest? If you're feeling down, a HIIT workout class may not be the best way to take care of yourself. Instead, get more grounded by rolling out your mat and finding a restorative Yin Yoga video on YouTube. You need to find the right remedy for the right time.
More importantly, we must understand that we deserve these treatments every day – not just when we're feeling low about being ghosted by a friend, frustrated with your boss, or even out of balance. Treating yourself should be a preemptive measure in your continuous health rather only after you've thrown yourself on to the kitchen floor having a two-year-old crying fit (ladies, it's happened and I'm not embarrassed to admit it).
If you use lavender essential oil on your feet after a stressful day why not spread the love to those little toesies on a good day?! Use grapefruit essential oil to feel joyful and write three things that you're grateful for in your bullet journal. Don't look at is as a quick fix like popping two Advil at the sign of a pounding headache, rather, make it a habit, like a daily ten-minute meditation on your Headspace app.
The last thing I would suggest comes from my very resourceful and intelligent father. He explains the concept of “floating” and would tell me to do this whenever I was faced with a wave of funky, awkward periods of life.
It doesn't mean to float on a noodle in the pool with a pineapple juice in hand, rather, it means to mind float. Affirm that, “yes, I am not feeling my best self right now and that's okay.” Then self-coach and accept the feelings just as they are and let them float away. Create some imagery about it and imagine these gray filled clouds passing through your mind and instead of diving into the mess of it all, let them pass through and out your ears. You then make an agreement with yourself that you are not going to make any, I mean ANY decisions while you are in float mode.
When we are not feeling too hot we tend to make rash decisions only to regret them later. It can even be as simple as letting your friend choose the dinner location. Allow yourself to feel the down, but don't commit to it. When you've watched the episode when Felicity and Ben finally kiss during their cross-country summer trip debate and feeling hopeful for their newly budding relationship and, oh yeah – YOUR life too, turn off the float mode, and crank up the kick-ass mode.
I'm no doctor or specialist. I am just speaking from the Land of “I’vebeenthere” and while suggestions like yoga, Felicity, walking, Felicity meditating, Felicity, journaling or floating may not work for you, take the time to find what truly makes you feel whole and AWESOME!
...& Felicity can’t hurt.
By: Maya Kaplan
I made Aliyah five years ago, I am originally from Dallas Texas. I am an English teacher/tutor and currently getting my 200-hour Yoga teacher certification from Kinneret Yoga in Jerusalem. I am married to a wonderful Israeli man, who, among other things, can read all my bank statements and insurance policies I get in the mail. I love cereal, blasting Nelly Furtado in my car, and have a weird obsession with small jars.
Find Maya on Instagram!
A special thank you to Sophia Gibly for the artwork. She is an artist, yogi, and lover of life. She originally hails from sunny Arizona (where yes, you really can bake cookies on the sidewalk in the summer), but recently moved to the magical city of Jerusalem. Sophia enjoys laughing, spending time with family and friends, and eating food other people have cooked. To keep up with her adventures, artwork, and yoga follow her on Instagram.