I Went on Vacation, and I Caught Crabs!

I love the way we are learning more about self-care. The definition has expanded as we come to a greater understanding of the far-reaching implications of caring for our mind, body, and spirit. We realize that self-care is not just the body but ideally addresses all the big three.

As you already know the quality of your relationships can have a significant impact on your life. The impact on your health and wellbeing of supportive relationships has been scientifically proven to be a key requirement for us to thrive. We need friends to help us celebrate the good and support us when tough times come. People with supportive relationship have even been found to live longer than those that don’t.

How do supportive relationships and connections support your self-care?

  • Increases your feelings of self-worth
  • Lowered risk of mental illness
  • Your network helps you deal with traumatic events
  • Promotes growth and learning (I learn so much from my friends!)
  • Increases the fun factor in your life
  • Boosts the happiness quotient
  • Supports a sense of belonging, connection, and purpose

Whether you are an introvert or an extravert and anywhere in between, you can benefit from supportive relationships. We are all different and need to determine what level of supportive relationships are optimal for our individual self-care. You decide what level of connection works for you. Taking the time and energy into developing supportive relationships is a really, worthwhile investment in your self-care!

So, I bet you are wondering what that has to do with catching crabs. Ok, so I was trying to be funny, but there is a connection here I promise. Last Friday, I went to Florida and Alabama to connect with friends. My first stop was at a friend’s house in Florida. I arrived on Friday and on Saturday one of my front two teeth I had recently chipped and had repaired broke off even more. I was mortified! I went to try to get a repair kit and it was not working. I was talking about it with my boyfriend, and he said something so sweet. It helped me put things in perspective. If I am not in pain and cannot do anything about it right now, what is the best choice for ME in the moment. I was aware that I traveled hundreds of miles to spend quality time with a treasured friend and I have a choice. I get to choose whether I am going to let this unfortunate incident take the focus or the relationship with my friend. I chose my relationship. I was happy and staying in the moment instead of trying to figure out (and stress over) what was going to happen in the future.

So finally, the crab connection. I was calling around to see when I could get into my dentist. I called several dentists and was told I could not get in until May 5th at the earliest or I could be seen the next day. I thought about driving home (7.5 hours) but I connected to awareness of whether that would be the best way to take care of myself in this situation. Making the decision to go home would mean I would miss a visit with my friend in Alabama. I was really looking forward to seeing her. I made the choice to still visit her and find an appointment after my planned return. I also made the choice to just show up with my missing tooth and not worry about it. This is where the crabs came in. My friend’s husband took us crabbing. It was my first time! Omigosh y’all I was like a kid! I loved it! We caught forty-one crabs and ate them later. I am so grateful I chose the relationship. We had a blast and I feel even closer to my friend. AND as fate would have it… I spent two and a half hours in the dentist chair this morning and the repair still didn’t work. I am still snaggle-toothed but have the beautiful memory and connection shared with my friend.

It does not mean I was not upset. I was. I still am. But I made the best choice for me in the moment. What was my best self-care? I had to connect to my awareness of what that was because all I wanted to do was cry and get it fixed. And do you know what? Those relationships I have cultivated. My friends, and my family helped me connect with that awareness with their care and consideration.

That is how relationships can support your self-care. I consider myself a mindful and self-aware person. I manage stress very well and I do well with handling challenging situations. But I am grateful that I have friends who help make the tough times better and share good times as well! I also have some pretty smart friends. I can honestly say I am grateful to “get by with a little help from my friends.”

So again, I invite you to take time to consider your levels of self-care in your relationships. Are there relationships in your life that are not serving you and worse yet, draining you? Do you need to take action to cultivate more supportive relationships?

Much love and light,