Self care for anyone comes in a wide variety of forms. I enjoy meditation, mindfulness, the typical self care activities. Some people enjoy reading or writing. There’s no end to how you can take care of yourself and the best part is that it’s completely tailored to you. You can’t do self care incorrectly, as long as you’re listening to your own needs. For me, I often get into patterns of taking care of myself. I do things during the day that I know fill me up and then I don’t have to think about it. Obviously, overtime my needs change. If I’m not actively reflecting on what works and what doesn’t it can become ineffective self care. This was a game of trials and tribulations for me. Here are some of the things I consider when I’m changing my self care routine.
- My Energy Level
This is huge for me lately. I have struggled so much with my energy levels. That significantly changes how I do self care. Rather than spending extra time reading at night, I may opt to meditate for longer. It’s significantly less work for my brain and puts me to sleep in the same amount of time. The same goes for my morning routine. Sometimes, extra sleep is more beneficial than writing my daily gratitude.
- My Daily Needs
There are a lot of days after cardiac rehab or a long day of work that getting out to walk Crush is just not feasible. I am a strong believer in getting 15 minutes of sunlight daily but walking takes a lot out of me. Some days, I change my walk to throwing the ball for him. I’m still outside, he still gets exercise but I can do it in a way that I am not exhausted afterwards. This means I can cook dinner instead of throwing something together. I can also take the time to read before bed, rather than opting for a longer meditation. This is something I have to be cognizant of daily.
There are times in which my routine is no longer accessible. I can’t workout or I can’t walk. Some days I can’t throw a ball. In these moments, I have to give myself a lot of grace. This is a time in which mindfulness is incredibly important for me personally. It’s okay that some activities are not possible everyday. It doesn’t determine my worth or my capability. It just means that the way I take care of myself is napping or something that respects where my body is at that moment.
Depending on where I am health wise, my goals can change. I am still very much interested in running a marathon. I have every intention of running a marathon. In cardiac rehab, I’ve learned that it’s actually counterproductive for me to run in the capacity that I was. It’s not safe. It’s not smart. All in all, it’s not a good idea. So even though that’s my goal, I’m working towards it in other ways. It takes a constant reminder that small actions can still get me to where I want to go. It’s challenging to change that mindset and reevaluate how things are working.
The thing that ties all of these together is flexibility. I have a tendency to be extremely rigid. I set a pattern and the expectation is that I continue on that same route. That doesn’t work, at least not for long. As humans, we fluctuate in almost every way possible. Our desires and needs shift daily. We have to be able to react and adapt appropriately in order to take care of ourselves in an adequate way. This has taken me so long to learn. I’ve gone through periods of constantly ragging on myself. I wasn’t where I wanted to be but my goal was unrealistic for where I was at physically. Be patient with yourself. Change takes time and so does self care. These are actions that end up being habits and until they’re habits, they have to be intentional actions. Don’t worry, you’ll get to where you want to go.
I hope that your day is going well. I hope that your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.