Next in our series of “It’s OK” we’re going to dive into taking care of YOU. Yes, it’s OK and very healthy to do so. We intend to answer all those questions that swirl about, is it OK to feel this, is it OK to do this, is what they are doing OK, is what I’m doing/feeling OK and more. If you’ve got a topic you’re wondering about, please let us know. We’ll do our very best to answer your questions.
Life is swirling around you and there is so much to do. You’re trying to just breathe and survive. Life’s become a blur and numb hollow world. There’s no thought about taking care of you, you might not even care. Why bother, who cares, I just can’t …
The home needs to be cleaned, work needs to be done, kids and/or pets need taken care of, the mail and bills are piling up. Paper work about this “life event” looms.
You are exhausted.
What do you do first? How can you take a moment for yourself when there is so much to do…especially now that it is just you?
TAKE A BREATH
Take a moment to breathe and just be. It will be OK.
Pick up a phone and schedule something for you that brings you joy and happiness. Maybe it’s a mani/pedi, a massage, a lunch with a friend, a cuppa in a favorite place. Maybe sitting outside by a lake or a park.
Schedule time for just you to read a book, take a bubble bath, take a walk, listen to music.
WHY? How can you do this when there is so much to be done?
Though the concept may be hard to grasp right now, it is actually very simple. You need to do this so that so much can get done.
Let’s face it. You cannot do everything when you are exhausted. You need to rest, relax and replenish yourself so that you can do what you need to do
It is not selfish to take care of you in the midst of everything going on. In fact, it is essential to your health and your wellbeing. It is also essential for your ability to cope with everything that is happening in your world.
Self care is critical for your well-being - that means your emotional, physical and mental health are all included in this term self-care.
When you’re grieving, your mental and emotional health have taken a hard hit. They need your care and attention to become healthy again. Ignoring this won’t help and can in fact become detrimental to your physical and emotional health.
In essence, It is OK to take care of you.It’s MORE than OK, it’s ESSENTIAL Yes, essential!
Often we hear that you cannot pour from an empty cup. We cannot reiterate this enough. You cannot have the energy to take care of yourself and others if you do not take care of yourself.
We know that this is hard to do in application. Even though we often write about taking care of ourselves and we do schedule times for small bits in our lives, we sometimes struggle with taking time for ourselves as well. If you simply cannot find a way to take time for yourself, ask a friend to help you in finding ways to relax and refocus. If you are struggling emotionally, you might enlist a therapist or counselor to help you find ways not only to cope but also to take care of you during this trying time in your life. Where to find Help.
Jeni recently rediscovered the importance of vacations. She had not taken a vacation since the year after her husband passed, which she took with her children in 2008. With work, school (she has returned to college), family and everything, her life was just a little busy. She decided to take a week off and did not pack the computer, tablet or anything that could pull her back to her hectic life. Then, she took a road trip. This helped her to calm down, get settled and refocus. In reality, it was essential to getting back in the groove without the chaos.
Teresa’s been diving deeper into self care recently. She has 3 autoimmune diseases and if she doesn’t take care of herself her physical health takes a toll which then leads to depression and low mood. To help with her self-care she regularly schedules her alternative care - chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. She’s also started taking a monthly camping trip, somewhere in nature near water. Water and nature are therapy for us all and help ground us and soothe our souls. She also has a coach to help her reach her goals and keep her accountable.
As you begin to practice taking care of yourself, you may start small. A few minutes here and there can do wonders. As you see the benefits of this shorter bits of time, you may venture into longer spurts. Do what is best for you. It doesn’t always have to be a full blown vacation to refocus. Those small bits can do it as well. Listen to what your body tells you. Just make sure that you take the time to take care of you.
It is OK to do so. It is essential to do so.
In closing, please please take good care of you. Even in small little self care moments. Remember to put that air mask on you first and then others. We wish you well and that you find time and energy to take good care of you.
Remember it is OK to take care of you!
Please share our site and resources with others in your life who might benefit from our work. We would also like to ask that you let us know if there is anything additional you would like to see in our site. Please contact us here.
Remember - It’s OK. YOU are OK.
Peace & Blessings,
Jeni & Teresa
PS: For additional support you can download our free copy of 10 Ways to Move Forward After Loss
Torn in Half: The First Days as a resource for the first days after a loss - available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.