Unplug, Rest, Be Grateful
Self -care, a term we often associate with eating right, exercising and living righteously but if we really dig deep, self-care involves more than that. Although it sounds easy it is one of the most difficult things to do, especially for us women. By nature, we are nurturers, therefore everyone comes before us. Self-care is all about balance which is a very difficult quest to attain in life but not impossible. All we need to do is say no at times, unplug, listen to our bodies, embrace the quietness around us, stay still, breath and inhale.
When I think of self-care, the word “unplug” comes to mind. We live in a world where technology is at the tip of our fingers, and yes, it is great to not have to move around so much and simply press buttons to connect with many people, all at the same time but on the flip side, it becomes exhausting, absorbing and yes extremely overwhelming.
For the past year and a half, I have committed to unplug once I arrive home after a long day of work and be present not only for my son but also for me. Enjoying the quietness of my living room while delving into the pages of a book or indulging in my son’s laughter while he tells me stories of his friends or shares about his day or new game without having to look over at my phone because someone “needs” my attention.
It also gives me some time to enjoy and be reminded of the beauty of life and not being drawn into stories of horror and injustices that overflow my social media timelines. I am not in any way promoting being indifferent to those stories but I realized, especially after this Presidential election that we are forgetting all about the beauty within us, our stories, our legacy and that is important to remember too.
My son has always been my healer. From the moment, I found out I was pregnant, he saved me. I had lost my mother two years prior to his birth. I was going through a deep depression and although it was bittersweet news for not being able to share this moment with her, I felt she had something to do with it… or so I like to think. All of this to say, that when I think of my son, the word “gratitude” pops up immediately and gratitude is a form of self-care.
My son will never quite understand how much he has healed my wounds with his existence and how he is always my refuge when life gets crazy or just too much to handle all around. By being with him I can disconnect from the adult world and enter his, free of drama and so innocent, allowing me to gift my inner child. His smile quickly erases my grumpy mood, his incredible and simply creative imagination transposed me into a world I once was part of as a kid. I look forward to Tuesdays, our date nights. We pick a different restaurant every week, sometimes we go fancy, other times “pizza” is as good as a fancy dinner. Once we arrive, we both “unplug” and enjoy each other’s company and a good meal. Once again, I am reminded of the beauty of life, the importance of legacy because these moments are also part of the legacy I am leaving behind for him.
Our lives are constantly on the move and we are encouraged daily and at any given time to “Buy more things!” “Work harder and at any hour of the day!” “Click back and forth uselessly between all your social media apps and call it leisure!” but little time is given to prioritize, encourage, or facilitate ways for caring for yourself or treating yourself well.
It is important to remind ourselves to push back from that chaos and enjoy quiet and space for a day or maybe one hour every day to start by maybe turning on the “do not disturb” function on your phone or if you rather turn it off completely so that you can indulge in something you like: reading a book, taking a nice hot shower or bath, perhaps taking 20 minutes to meditate or lay down on your couch, because eventually you must wade your way back into that chaos. So let us rest.
Every night, before I go to bed I write on my Gratitude notebook of at least three things I am grateful for. Practicing gratitude helps me to keep track of the things and people I am lucky to have from a good meal to a good friend, from simple things to accomplishments. Often, events and things in our lives are taken for granted but are worth noting. Let us be reminded of them, the beauty and simplicity of life, to search for the good and have a positive outlook when a new day begins. –Wendy Angulo
Wendy Angulo, NYC born Latina raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Mother, Writer, Lawyer and Advocate of literary and visual arts in Queens. Founder of Wendy Angulo Productions, 2016 VONA alum, Program Director of the New York City Latina Writers Group. Wendy continues to scout for new talent and build connections to perpetuate the arts and strengthen the literary community. www.wendyanguloproductions.com