Updated: Mar 30
During the past few years, a great focus has been thrust upon the notion of self-care, taking time for yourself, resting.
Growing up poor and the daughter of ranch hands, I learned early the value of a day’s work and how hard it is to earn a dollar. From getting up at dawn, putting my boots on with my pajamas and heading out the door to do my chores to now owning my own business, I must admit that I fail at self-care.
I, like a lot of people my age (ahem, 40 ish to 50 ish), am a workaholic. I start out my day around 4:30 or 5 am, coffee, workout, feed the dogs, then start working around 7 or 7:30 am until 5 or 6. On the weekends I try to ‘unplug’, but as I am sitting here writing this on a Saturday, you can see it doesn’t always happen. When I am not working, I feel very uncomfortable and uneasy; I am much better working (I know many of you can relate).
With age comes wisdom and I have learned that I need to take time for myself, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel, because if I don’t take the time, I crash…hard. I will actually get flu like symptoms, aches and pains along with a migraine. Full disclosure, I have Hashimoto’s which is where your immune system is constantly revved because it’s attacking your thyroid (there is a much more scientific definition, but I prefer my own). Hashimoto’s will cause ‘flares’ where your body/joints aches, headaches and flu like symptoms especially when overworked or stressed. Basically, if I am stressed, my body makes me stop to take care of myself.
I don’t necessarily have a ‘self-care’ ritual, but I do have a few items that help me rejuvenate my mind and body.
Exercise- I have been a proponent of daily exercise for years. Back when I was a personal trainer, I helped others find joy in fitness. The endorphins exercise releases not only help your body feel better, but your mind as well. The mind and body work together in such amazing ways so when you work out daily, the connection between them is strengthened helping you listen to what your body is saying. Knee hurts, back feels tight, elbow is aching; these are all ways your body tells you ‘maybe don’t lift as much today, maybe try some yoga or stretching, what about a foam roller?’
Reading- Since grade school, I have loved reading. I honestly can’t count how many books I have read but I can tell you which ones shaped my life! Reading is a wonderful escape from reality no matter what genre you prefer. If you would rather listen to books, Audible is my personal fave. I can pop my earbuds in and listen to a great book anytime, anywhere.
Binge watching- True, tv is a horrible waste of time, but binge watching is truly one of my all-time favorite ways to turn my mind off. Comedy, action and horror are my go to’s. It is a great way to focus on something that helps shut my mind off from work and/or stress.
This isn’t a complete list of all the different self-care methods just a few of my personal favorites. Whatever methods or activities help you relax, destress, and rejuvenate your mind/body are what matter.
Take care of yourself!