Thursday, October 12, 2017

I know this much is true... (thoughts on self-care)

I’ve had a rough couple days mental-health-wise. As I sat at my desk today feeling horrible and accomplishing nothing, I fortunately had the wherewithal to reach out to writer-friends (because they get it) who gently nudged me in the direction I all-along knew I needed to go: I stepped away from the computer for some self-care time.

I played the piano for an hour, which has long been one of my top two sure-fire self-care solutions. (The other is a walk either on the beach or in the forest.) And I felt better. Was I miraculously mended and perfectly well? Uh…no. But I was able to return to my work with some degree of energy and enthusiasm, and make progress on my writing.

Writing time is precious, and giving up an hour for self-care can seem a difficult (or crazy) thing to do. But this I know: self-care is not an indulgence—it’s a necessity. For me, given my unusually bad state of mind/spirit earlier today, it was clear that time spent at the piano was indeed time well spent.

Whether it’s mental or creative health (or physical, or spiritual…), it’s vital we make time for self-care. We must rest, find refreshment, and re-fill the well, or we will have nothing to give to our work or to the world, and we'll find ourselves seriously lacking in joy.

I should note, self-care does not take the place of proper medical care from a doctor or therapist. If you’re struggling, please seek help. It’s one thing to re-fill our well, but hey, sometimes we need to dig a whole new well or replace our bucket or some other  s t r e t c h  of the metaphor. ;-) Reaching out to supportive and understanding friends is sometimes enough (thank goodness for my tribe today!); it’s okay if that’s not enough, though. Go to the pros when you need to.

I encourage you to spend a couple minutes today thinking about self-care. Three things:

  • What nurtures and refreshes your mind and spirit?
  • Are you regularly making time for self-care?
  • Who can you turn to for support?
Peace, dear friends. Take care...

3 comments:

  1. I love this Shari and sure needed the reminder today. Am working on a stressful deadline and have been feeling overwhelmed. You've reminded me to stop and breathe!

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    1. I'm glad it was timely for you. <3 (My deadline is fast approaching too, and I imagine that didn't help my stress yesterday!) Stay well...

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  2. My self-care is a cup of coffee with steamed and super foamy soy milk. It takes a little longer to produce, but makes me feel cared for by one important person, me. It's to easy to shortchange yourself and think others will fill the void.

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