In this last quarter of 2013, I have found myself in the middle of a huge self-care challenge. After pushing very hard in my career for many years, while simultaneously caring for an aging parent, my body finally said, “That’s enough”.
I have been forced to slow down and not in a graceful, please take a seat kind of way but in a screeching, skidding, stop dead in your tracks way. And while I continue to work with my patients and coach my clients in communication skills, which has been very fulfilling, there has been no space or energy for that next book, or even that next push in my career.
It has been very humbling.
As many of you know, I am a body-mind expert, someone who believes in listening to what our bodies have to tell us. And my body certainly was chatting up a storm last year, but I was distracted, caught up in some big projects and dealing with the aftermath of caring for my mom. I didn’t ignore my self-care but I squeezed it in an usually when I was beyond exhausted.
Consequently, I have had to carve time out to regain my vitality. And that process has involved a daily, sometimes moment to moment conversation with myself about what I need to do to heal. There have been numerous talks with friends and health practitioners who continue to encourage me to take the time I need and to be kind to myself. And as frustrating as it has been, I know I need to because there is more life to be lived and I want to participate.
So through my own experience and listening to the issues of others, I want to share some thoughts on how to keep or get your own self-care on track.
1. Transitions: Allow more transitions between events and activities in your life. By creating time to transition from one thing to another, you give yourself more time to; feel what you need to in that moment, address what you need in terms of self-care, and keep yourself from living life in a state of chronic stress.
2. Components for healing. In my experience, it often takes more than one modality to heal from emotional, psychological and physical stress. If you have been feeling frustrated or stuck in your process of healing, instead of blaming yourself, it may be time to try something else. Take a look at other methods such as coaching, therapy, a new doctor, meditation, acupuncture, a different type of exercise or nutritional guidance as possible options.
3. Emotional messiness is part of life. There will always be deep feelings to experience as we live life. There is loss, excitement, mistakes and unexpected joys, to name a few. We continue to evolve as human beings till the end of our lives and there is no such thing as being perfect. Cultivating acceptance of where we are, which does not mean giving up, does make the journey easier. And to be honest, as I have run out of steam, this has been my biggest challenge and one I will keep you posted on.
In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or comments on self-care and how it has affected your self-esteem, please feel free share them with me via email or in comments, including what has worked for you and your own experience with reaching your limit.