Entry 3- Self-Care

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” -Eleanor Brownn

SO MUCH TRUTH TO THIS.
When we aren’t taking care of all parts of ourselves, we become vulnerable to things like stress, depression, anxiety and that nasty bug that tears our immune system apart. In an earlier post, I talked about caring for our emotional, spiritual, physical and mental pieces. Maintaining balance in these four areas, will better prepare us to manage stress as it comes.

BUT I FEEL GUILTY
How many times have I heard this and even felt this? How do we expect to give when we have nothing left to offer. When we are depleted and exhausted, we are just existing. When we are just existing, we are not living. And when we are not living, we are not able to give from a full mind, body and spirit.

NOTICE
Notice your early warning signs. Are you dreaming about work? Are you highly irritated most of the time? Do you feel you have lost control of your emotions? Are you doing all and everything, despite the help being offered? Do you say yes, even when you want to say no? Have you stopped engaging in activities that provided enjoyment? Do you feel like you did nothing for yourself at the end of the night? Are you constantly finding yourself sick? Is your anxiety out of control? Are you more negative and pessimistic than you are positive and optimistic? Are you constantly ruminating and feel helpless? Yes to one, yes to some, yes to ALL?

IF YES, STOP READING THIS
And go do something for you. Something you actually find calming and relaxing. It can be a simple one minute meditation where you notice your breath without judgment. Is your inhale longer than your exhale? Are you experiencing shortness of breath? Can you inhale the same amount as you can exhale? Engaging in daily mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can bring you into the present moment. By being in the present, you are calming your body, quieting your mind and replenishing your spirit.

YOU DESERVE IT
You deserve to spend some part of your day, taking care of you. Everyone and everything else in that moment can wait.

TRY IT OUT
Consider documenting your self-care activities. Notate the date and time, your feelings and thoughts before and after the activity. Do you notice differences? Overtime, my hope is you will find patterns and create the daily habit of self-care.

SO IT’S OK
I promise. It’s ok to say no, it’s ok to place boundaries, it’s ok to let others help you, it’s ok to not be in control, and it’s definitely ok to put yourself first. You can’t expect to be functioning at a healthy level, if you are neglecting your very own needs. So please, be compassionate, respectful, and loving towards yourself. Renew yourself daily.

Live mindfully, hopeful and persevere.

Until next time!

Claudia Stanley, LMSW

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