The Importance of Self Care

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The Importance of Self Care

During my 4th layover in the Denver airport this week (yes, you read that correctly: I was in the Denver airport FOUR times!), I ran the numbers and realized that I have been away from home more than I’ve been home since June. That calculation gave me a big, fat hot flash!  Really. It did.

The roosters are now coming home to rest. My friends are now emailing, texting and calling saying, “You’ve gotta stop this schedule.” Another said, “You are not going to be able to walk your talk if you keep this up.” One friend went so far as to say, “I’m worried about you getting sick again.” These are my good friends. They love me and care about me enough to tell me the truth.

The reality is that they are not telling me anything that I don’t know. And I am all too familiar with the impact of stress on health.

I am reminded of David Servan-Schreiber‘s book (that I wrote about here), Not the Last Goodbye. It is a memoir of the last year of his life. In it, he undertakes a close assessment of his own life, realizing that he has neglected a key piece of (his best-selling book) Anticancer advice-to create a stress-free life; instead he had embarked on an international tour to take his message to the public. Hmmmm. This is ringing a little too close to home.

My first college degree was in history. One of the most important things that I learned is that history repeats itself and that it is always better to learn from the mistakes of others. Ding! Ding! Ding!

So, I’ve deemed November to be the month of Self Care.

Though I believe that self-care is a crucial part of maintaining wellness and good health and is an optimum quality of life both in the present and for the future, I admit to not walking the talk. And I’m suffering as a result.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for self-care is the belief that it equates to selfishness. Not so! Think of a continuum with selfishness at one end and self-sacrifice at the other. Self-care calmly sits in a balanced, steady state right in the middle. In order to give to others you need to nurture yourself by continually stocking (and re-stocking!) your reserves of strength, resolve, energy, and motivation. How can you continue to give to yourself or others when your tank is near empty?

Self-care takes many forms: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social. We can all  nurture ourselves through the gift of regular exercise, healthy meals, meditation, prayer, reading, playing (anything!), or socializing with friends.

So, this week, I am going to get a plan (because I love plans!) in place to fill my tank. Any suggestions?

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Comments

  1. Debbie Johnson Schwi says

    Hollye, play your favorite music, wear your favorite comfy clothes, look at old pictures, read wonderful books, call and meet your girfriends, go visit one of your favorite places on earth, watch old classic movies. This is how I pamper myself when I take the time to do so. Love you!

  2. says

    Fantastic, Inni. Thank you! Tonight, the HOTY and I are going to have dinner with Suddenly Seven and then light a fire and read a book. Sounds pretty fabulous to me. Thanks, again!

  3. E.B. says

    1. Hollye, you are psychic, this post is perfectly on point. Taking this week to reboot, regroup, declutter (mentally and physically) and just be;

    2. Absolutely agree with Claudia Schmidt. She reminded me of an article I read, many moons ago, on an artist (lives on Martha's Vineyard) whose mantra is "Be here now. Here be." She had a bathtub (fully functional) in the middle of the woods, gotta love that!

    3. Love Cynthia Spivey's suggestion, see if you can get Frances Schultz to go along. That would be some serious multi-tasking girlfriend time!

    You have a lot of people who care about you, Miss Hollye. Some you know personally, some only through your marvelous, wonderful, always-inspiring blog. You have a lot of love and good wishes winging their way towards you!

  4. Inni says

    Taking couple of hours at home and doing nothing…no phones, gadgets, no domestic duties. Just breathing and enjoying the art of doing nothing. Luxury!

  5. Kim C says

    Hey Hollye,
    I'm so relieved to read this post tonight. As a devoted reader of your blog, I've been thinking about you too. May I suggest the power in saying no!! hee hee! If you miss one opportunity – there will be heaps more for someone like you!!
    I wish you all the best with your self care plan for November. You sure deserve one!!

  6. Carolee Groux says

    To relax I like to do tai chi; also water soothes me, so my aqua aerobics and aqua zumba are great de-stressors. Also a quiet time in my day for devotions and prayer helps to quiet my mind.
    I also would suggest that your own idea of a "pajama day" in which to relax all day at home is great. Perhaps after returning home from every trip you could enjoy a PJ day. Take it easy, dear one.

  7. says

    Holley, this is such a great reminder to all of us to be good to ourselves. I hope you and suddenly seven get to spend some quality time together.

  8. says

    I'm so glad to hear you're going to take a bit of a break. I don't even know you (other than through The Silver Pen) and I have been a little worried about how much you've been doing (published a book, been on TV shows, going around the country on the book tour) and knowing how stressful travel can be, I've worried (it's the mother in me) about your health so am really glad to hear about your goal for November. My only reco: take time to really, really relax. Spend time with your daughter and HOTY, see friends, hang out, wear comfy clothes all day, eat well, sleep a lot, BE HERE NOW and just enjoy what you've accomplished. Schedule some of that into your life for EVER (not just November) as you deserve it and have earned it after what you've been through, and then your reaction to it (the book, the blog, etc.). Thinking of you and sending soothing thoughts and vibes your way. :)

    • says

      Wow, Claudia…THANK YOU for your kind and thoughtful note. I really appreciate it and promise to follow your recommendation! Thank you, again!

  9. says

    What I have found after cancer is that my to do list is longer than ever but unfortunately my energy is not what it was before. It takes such an effort to slow down and make sure I am taking care of myself. The hard part is since my diagnosis the clock ticks very loudly and there are so many things I want to do for my family and myself. In the back of my mind I always worry what if I get sick again and don't get another chance which can be very dangerous. Anyway, take care of yourself. Thanks so much for the reminder to everyone to do this. I am heading to Mirival this weekend….. so excited!!

    Jennifer

    • says

      Thank you for your note, Jennifer. I feel the exact same way! Super excited about your trip to Miraval. Have an incredible time – look forward to hearing all about it!