Find an excuse if you have to

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Do you ever wish you had to be hospitalized? Just for something minor: a botched mole removal that needed to be fixed, something to remedy a perceived cosmetic flaw, but imagine three or four days of sheer, uninterrupted sleep, clean(-ish) sheets, prepared healthy meals…it kind of sounds like a spa. This may be a sign that I need just a bit more self-care in my life.

On that note, I’d like to share the secret to my (questionable) sanity. It’s Whole Foods. While the prepared foods section would be a good start on a hectic night when dinner plans aren’t quite going my way, it’s actually the massage section that really won me over.

I found it one day when I was at the cash register paying for Christmas presents for my mother-in-law—already a rough day. My daughter was at school, but pick up time was on my heels and I was beyond anxious that there would be another biting incident awaiting my explanation upon arrival. Sliding my credit card into the chip reader, I looked up and noticed the secret of life (read: an empty massage chair) behind my cashier.

Here’s the thing: it’s $25 for 20 minutes, and you’re guaranteed to leave a different person. As I was sitting there, breathing like a normal human being for the first time in weeks, I schemed.

How could I pretend to selflessly run errands while secretly getting some time in the massage chair? How much time could I conceivably get away with, blaming the horror of the Whole Foods parking lot? And then I realized that the greatness of self-care is that everyone actually wants you to do it; my husband would happily give me an extra 20 minutes at the grocery store if it meant I always came home in a good mood. My daughter would get 20 more minutes of “secret” screen time while my husband did what he wanted, and I would get a massage. Win-win.

Excuse me, while I run out to the store. Whatever your form of self-care is, a cheap massage, a fancy manicure, a run, a quiet toddler-free shower, remember that everyone, not just your tired body, will thank you for doing it.

Jessica B. is a PhD. candidate in English at the University of Colorado Boulder and mom to a high energy power packed 2 year old that always keeps her on her toes.  She can be found around town either on her way to run or headed home from running somewhere in this beautiful Colorado front range.

Jessica B.