Spoiler Alert!! Taking care of yourself doesn’t get easier as you get older. Sorry if that comes as a shock. The daily requirements of getting enough (including appropriate amounts and kinds) food, water, exercise and sleep continue to remain a challenge for me and many of my friends. I somehow anticipated that it was only an issue for the “newly adulting” set, back when I could count myself in that group, but no- it remains a challenge at the best of times for myself as well as for friends in their third decade as well as those in their seventh decade. I have to assume that it continues until, as in childhood, someone else becomes responsible for taking care of us. Add in illness, an increased stress due to major life changes, or both and it becomes a recipe for disaster in the realm of self-care. This is when friends and loved ones are essential. They can offer gentle yet insistent reminders and encouragement to not only meet those basic needs, but to also juggle the myriad questions of what medicines to take and how much, how to modify food and liquid intake, exercise, even when to call out of work!
This is the time of year when so many are getting some kind of transient illness. I encourage you to do two things: 1. Reach out to your friends and family if you are sick and get the support you need so you may get better faster. Don’t try to be superhuman and handle it all on your own. 2. Don’t listen to your friends and family when they are sick and insist that they are “fine”. Give them a little TLC even if it’s just daily phone calls to remind them to take care of themselves.
My message here is this- taking care of yourself is challenging. Don’t give yourself a hard time for having to work at it and think about it on a regular basis. No one really does it automatically, it just looks like that from the outside. It’s worth it to keep aiming for the ideal balance, but it’s not a goal you can attain and then never worry about again. The need for self-care is inescapable, so embrace it and honor the fact that your body’s need change from day to day. Be kind to yourself on this journey, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support. That’s our specialty at Center for Holistic Healing and Art, supporting you on your journey so you can shine!