Recently, we had one of those moments in our house and family. There were a few days where sleep was hard to come by and we lived on the edge of reality. Everything seemed like it was lost in time and we just went from moment to moment not knowing how the situation would turn out. It was a time of extreme stress.
One person asked us during this time, "are you taking care of yourself?" Unfortunately we had to say no. We didn't get any sleep the first night and then subsequent days we did not get much sleep. We were rushing to and from the hospital and waiting to hear any tidbit of good news. However, we were not taking care of our self.
Sometimes it seems selfish to take care of yourself in stressful times and difficult moments. Especially if you see someone that you love suffering, its hard to think of one's self. The thing is though, if you don't take care of yourself, you can't be there for others that need you. It is impossible in the long term. Yes, you might obliterate yourself in the short term, but it will catch up with you.
Taking a few moments of the day to stop and feel the sunshine on your face, or listen to the wind blowing through the trees is a precious gift you can give yourself. Taking a few moments of the day to stop and notice your breath and just observe, feel and check in with your body is more powerful than we sometimes remember. Making sure you eat, drink plenty of water, rest as much as you can are essential to making it through stressful and difficult times.
Each one of us also must realize where our limits are. If you need to stop along the journey and rest, then that is what you need to do. If you need to say "NO" to something even though it pains you deeply, sometimes that is what you need to do. You only have so many resources and so much energy and if you withdraw from this for too long, your body and mind and spirit will suffer. It will make the situation that much harder to deal with.
We often push our bodies way beyond the limits of where we should. They are quite capable of doing extraordinary things in extraordinary moments of our life. Life is precious and the body is a beautiful thing, so is the mind in what it can handle and recover from.
We can push our mind and body a long ways and somehow the body keeps going. However, we need to keep in mind that unless we nourish our mind and body, there will be only so much to give. The more you take care of yourself, the more you can be there for others in times of crisis, stress, or difficulty.
Do your body proud and treat it with respect. Treat it with love. For how you treat your body determines how it will be there for you in the long run.
Blog Post And Images (c) 10/23/14 by Don Shetterly
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