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?