For years I have been writing about the importance of self-care. I have also been practicing what I preach—most of the time. I have the basics covered such as eating healthfully, exercising regularly, meditating daily and allowing sufficient time for sleep—usually. Except when life gets busy and I take short cuts. The problem with short cuts in self-care is that you really do “get out what you put in.”
Currently, I am going through a challenging life transition that will upend almost every aspect of my life. I have clung to my own self-care advice like never before and have practiced it fervently during this unsettling time.
And guess what? Self-care really works!
Exercising hard five to six times a week rids my body of the physiological impacts of stress. Meditating clears my mind so I can think straight. Avoiding sugar keeps my moods more even. That last one is not easy for a self-proclaimed sugar addict. But the difference between adhering to these self-care activities and taking short cuts is so substantial, I cannot imagine cheating right now. It is the difference between having enough creativity to problem solve and enough love to be generous, or going over the deep end.
Deeply caring for myself allows me to walk through these uncertain days with the grace and strength I strive for every day. Trust me, not every day is perfect. But in those moments of fear, I fall back on my tool bag of self-care tricks to get through it, like deep breathing or going outside to soak up nature’s healing energy for a few minutes.
This experience is a reminder that when this all passes, as it eventually will, self-care is a powerful tool for everyday living as well. Once life settles and I am not directing energy toward coping, I will remember this wellspring of life force that can be directed toward positive, productive endeavors. I will be unstoppable!
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