the importance of Self-Care

It’s a slow rise. One that I am attentively attending to. I anticipated the hard fall. Although I did not anticipate the fall to be as hard as it was. I was prepared for the days that followed. A dear friend of mine loving referred to my journey after my father died as a Forced Rebirth; calling April 7th my Forced Rebirth Day. I’ve embraced that. I’m finding great comfort in it. And in my self-care, I am celebrating it. My life is so very different now. And out of that sadness I have managed to sow a seed of compassion and understanding for myself.

I purchased a book with the intent of cracking it open on April 7th. I followed through on that promise to myself. The book is called Mindfulness; An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. Find it here and buy it. For serious. Just do it.

If you have read any number of my posts you would have picked up on a theme of Mindfulness. It was a skill I first learned about during DBT (dialectical behavior therapy). I have benefited from practicing Mindfulness and I felt like I wanted to develop those skills more. What better time to do so then after a great fall?

I began reading Thursday evening and read until Saturday morning when I reached the starting point for the 8 weeks. The first week includes mindful meditation focusing on breath; 8 minutes twice a day. I also was challenged to select a daily activity and apply mindfulness to it each day. They suggested, among other things, the task of brushing your teeth. I selected that one. It is one of many activities my brain uses to catalog all of my daily to-do’s and in the evening, all the things I didn’t get done. Anxiety is rooted in worrying about the future and the past. So this activity seemed to be an ideal focus. I will also work on breaking a small habit as the book suggest. Per their suggestion I will focus on sitting in a different chair; at home during TV or for meals and at work during meetings. It may seem trivial but breaking any habit helps in rewiring the brain to aid in breaking big habits like negative thought patterns. And negative thought patterns are the life-force of anxiety and the front door to the House of Depression.

My self-care also included attending a yoga class on Thursday. Which I did. Even though I was anxious about doing something with a bunch of strangers. I kept refocusing my negative self-talk and made it through the class. Empowering indeed. And sore…for DAYS. But I did it.

I also was careful with myself, allowing myself plenty of time Thursday and Friday morning to prepare for my day. A lot of quiet time, a lot of deep breathing, virtually no rushing. I was sure to eat well and drink plenty of water. Which seemed easy to do oddly enough, considering my distain for water consumption.

I anticipated Saturday morning as an opportunity to really recharge and it did not fail. I arose at 6am with no alarm feeling rested. I read, I meditated, I wrote, I ate, took a long hot shower, mindful teeth brushing and back to writing while listening to music.

Sometimes we need to recognize the need for self-care and without judgement make time for it. Because it matters. Because it’s important. Its momentum. Allow time for the slow rise.

Celebrate the wins.

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5 thoughts on “the importance of Self-Care

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  1. Very great post, thinking back to the picture on this post a friend of mine was helping me get through self harm, and she told me to be gentle with myself, she reminded me that i was a compassionate person at heart and told me to do to myself as i would do to others, so everytime i would be about to cut myself i would wonder what i would advice a friend if they wanted to self harm, let alone a friend i wouldn’t advice that to someone i deeply hate, and then i would apply that gentleness and compassion to myself. it worked! another important thing in being compassionate with yourself is forgiving yourself for shortcomings and embracing the fact that you are human and can’t do everything right am saying this because in this journey which is a brave one you may find yourself not doing everything as you intended to, or not sticking to something you dedicated yourself to doing and do not let that discourage you, it all takes time, so trust the process, ( i send you warm hugs and strenght)

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  2. Great post. I’m sorry about your Father passing away, that would be so difficult to handle, I can’t imagine how you feel right now. I’m glad you bought this book to help you through your grieving and that you are able to practice ‘mindfulness’ in your daily life. I never thought about it a lot, but you are right, that it is important to stay positive by breaking bad habits which can lead to negative thought patterns. Have a good week, as best as you can.

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