The Man and I are embarking on some lifestyle changes- diet, sleep, stress reduction, exercise- all the good, yummy stuff. It's been really great to get back on the saddle with foundational self-care practices. At my appointment with my naturopath this morning, I was telling her how good it felt to take care...take care of my health, myself, my life. In my chatting with her, I realized that my small actions make way more of a difference over time than big, huge, radical changes all at once. I also realized that my biggest fear is always about maintaining my self-care, especially when there is a shitstorm around me; stress, long days at work, life stuff, love stuff. Whatever it is, I can get thrown off so easily.
My naturopath suggested I do two things:
1. Write a letter to my future, stressed out self. In this letter, write about how things are probably exhausting, tiring, stressful, whatever and how no matter what, stay the course. Put your stake in the sand for what is essential for you to feel the best you can feel, despite external circumstances. You can miss a day here and there, but don't let that make you miss all the days.
2. Make a list of my foundational practices. Keep that list visible in many places. Those are the "My Essentials." I shared with her what I thought my own essentials are:
2. Physical Activity (the heart pumping kind)
3. Eating well
4. Yoga & Meditation & Spiritual Practices
7. Being outside
Then comes all the other stuff...work, finances, housecleaning, gardening, errands, etc.
When we take care of ourselves, our spaces and places, our relationships, what's right in front of us for work or caretaking, we get this magical urge to continually take care. Maybe we dive into that land of over-caring. It's always good to come back to our essentials and see where we can pare down and what we can say no to, so there is room for other things. Find the essentials and ditch everything else.