|Always take a few minutes for yourself every day!|
Since I was a little girl, I have loved to write letters and send cards , for any reason. Some of my fondest memories were reciprocal correspondence with my Georgian relatives. I still maintain close contact with family and friends, no matter where they live.
Each July, I send out a fair number of retirement cards to friends and colleagues. Always written in some fashion on these cards is the expression: "take care of yourself!"
I have been a nurse for close to 30 years. Until 1999, I didn't "take very good care of myself". Almost dying is a fabulous wake - up call about the importance of now!
Now, I wondered why society, in general, places self care on the back burner? Some of the reasons commonly discussed in my classroom include: family (kids, spouse, parents); work (stress from colleagues, bills, unemployment issues, time and sleep issues); health (yours, loved ones); higher education (time, tuition).
It was inspiring to encounter a student recently who credited his three young sons for helping him "act like a kid", every day, even for a short while. He reminded us how important it is to take time to play. As a nurse, he remained optimistic and grateful that he could go home, after a stressful day, to his beautiful family.
Teaching nurses who are pursuing an advanced degree, I am overwhelmed by the stressors they are facing. If you are reading this, I urge you to thank the next nurse who cares for you. Sometimes that heartfelt gratitude makes all the difference.
I fully appreciate that every job has a degree of stress. Today, there is even additional worry with our unemployment rate; and talented people are searching for work. To me, this makes more of a case for self care on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.
Come to think of it, I write "take care of yourself" on most every type of note I send! I guess I feel rather strongly on the subject! I consider self care a life saver!
My physical body carries me through the life that God has given me. Each day I will experience nature and enjoy some kinds of healthy foods.
My mind helps me think about issues with clarity and meaning. Each day I will exercise it somehow by being creative, social and interactive with those I care about.
My soul keeps me aligned with my purpose in the Universe. Each day I will spend time in quiet prayer, meditation and contemplation to develop self awareness and growth.
How about you? Whether you have retired or you are working, what is your plan to "take care of yourself"?
"Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier." (Kathleen Norris)