Parking Lot Revelations – A New Start

I have to admit, I’ve been wanting to write this first note to you for some time.  It goes on the To-Do list and then three weeks later, it’s still there.  So, what made me stop today to finally write?  Ironically, a family health issue is the reason I’m here.  I’m actually sitting in a parking lot waiting for my family member’s doctor to call me and let me know what the next steps are in this crazy adventure of ours. 

It is so easy to be overwhelmed these days.  We’re busier now than pre-pandemic!  Is it because there really is more to accomplish in one day (or while working from home you never lose sight of the daily at-home stuff that perpetually calls to you) or because the world is just that much more anxious, scared, and angry than we were in February of 2020?  Honestly, I don’t think it matters that much.  Regardless of the Why, we’re all stressed.

Good Stress or Bad Stress – Who Cares?

Stress is one of those overused words that gets thrown around a lot.  When I was in school, we learned about eustress (good stress) and distress (bed stress).  It makes sense – some stressors push us to achieve more than we thought we could.  The only issue here, and the reason I believe we really don’t hear about eustress and distress much anymore, is that we are all living with more pressure, expectation and obligations than ever before – we are always stressed.  And at some point, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad – it just is.

And it’s too much.

If We Learn It, We Do It…Right?

You may know that self-care has become one of my favorite topics over the past couple years.  I spent a lot of time formally learning about self-care, how to do it, why we need it…all that stuff you learn in a class.  (Ironically, not something I learned in medical school or from my colleagues and mentors over my fifteen years in medicine!)  And I spend a lot of time telling others all about it.  But here’s the thing – self-care really is one of those things about which you need to have a personal revelation.  Something usually has to happen to push you to the edge so that you concretely see that you have to take better care of yourself. 

Self-care has always been a challenge for me.  I love to make things happen and scribble them off the list!  That’s why I took a class to teach me the importance of self-care.  I had bought into the idea that if we learn the value of something, surely then we just automatically integrate it into every aspect of our lives, right?  Wrong.  There’s too much to get done in a day and we have to push hard each day to make it all happen.  And who has time to stop and smell the roses or take a bubble bath or get a massage? 

The Parking Lot Revelation

That was my revelation in this parking lot full of people sitting and waiting and wondering about the future.  Self-care is not necessarily about taking hours off of work to go hide in a spa.  (Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy a spa day!)  But for this moment in time, self-care may be really basic – making sure we go to bed on-time so we have the opportunity for eight hours of sleep that will allow our bodies to heal.  It’s about eating three meals a day so that we have a little down-time and a blood sugar that doesn’t drop too low.  Self-care is about spending time with our loved ones before their time is past and we are left feeling guilty and angry.  And maybe that’s one of the biggest self-care practices I’m learning to embrace – stop running so hard and actually take a moment to feel the feels, wherever it may happen. 

If you forget about the rules that we all have written in our minds about what we should and could do, what does real, practical self-care look like for you?  What are the small but powerful changes you can make in your life to help you discover the most amazing you – even in the middle of overwhelm?

And if you need a little help coming up with ideas, click here for my free resource that offers a bunch of self-care activities you really can start today…for a calmer, stronger and better tomorrow.


Tags

beginnings, choices, priorities, self-advocate


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