I had a chat today with my sister-in-law about treats for ourselves. She said that it was very important to give ourselves treats from time to time for our own mental health--especially if we spend time taking care of others.
As we talked about examples of ways to take care of ourselves, my mind jumped to Julia Cameron's book, Artist's Way. Julia Cameron suggests that we should make an artist's date with ourselves once a week. When I was going through her book, I found lots of ways to treat myself without using a lot of money. One of the things I did was to go to the local bookstore where they had a vast collection of art books and wonderful easy chairs. It was a wintry day, so I bought myself a hot chocolate (I don't like coffee), pulled down a whole array of books, sat in an easy chair and spent a whole morning absorbing wonderful ideas from the art books.
Another day, when it was lovely outside, I went to the local garden and wandered around in the Japanese garden area where I absorbed the beauty and simplicity of the place. Another artist's date I remember was a visit to a place that sells exotic woods. Since I love to carve wood, I walked in the place, inhaled the smell of all that wood and became intoxicated with the desire to carve something beautiful! Recently, I spent half a day in a huge art store exploring all of the different ways to create art.
While I am here in New Mexico, one of the ways I am feeding my spirit is to take long walks and breathe in the wonderful scenery and fresh air of this place that is so different from the area in Texas where I live.
Yes, I think it is important to treat ourselves for our own mental health, but as I consider ways to save money this year, I think that there are ways that I can feed my spirit without spending a lot of money. As I typed the above list, it occurred to me that I have not had an artist's date lately and I might want to make artist's dates a routine part of my calendar this year.
Thank you, sister-in-law, for reminding me of a very important aspect of mental health.
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