Self-care is the easiest thing to toss aside when the mundane aspects of daily life take over. Compared to everything we have to do and everywhere we have to be, attending to ourselves occurs as frivolous, indulgent, and irresponsible. And, Sisters, there are consequences.
~ Regena Thomashauer
Over the past twelve months, I have developed a number of health issues. On top of the hypothyroidism (under control with medication), I’ve been plagued with colds and intestinal bugs, migraines and exzema, diagnosed with high blood pressure and strep . Currently I am on my second round of antibiotics and cough syrup in what I hope will beat the latest strep infection. Obviously, the nature of my job makes me vulnerable. As a piano teacher, I spend eight to ten hours every weekday with children of all ages and am exposed to all the illnesses they bring home with them from school. And clearly my immune system has been compromised by battle with repeated infections. But that’s not all. Poor eating habits, insufficient rest and inconsistent exercise have taken their toll as well.
I’m ready to make some changes. I’m not looking for a quick fix, but my birthday is five weeks from today, and I would like to begin my the next year of my life weighing a few pounds less and feeling a whole lot better. It’s time to get serious about establishing some sound habits.
Moving forward, taking care of my health is going to be my number one priority. Diet, exercise and rest are the obvious places to start. Based on past successes and a bit of research, here’s the plan: no coffee past noon; no alcohol; no unrefined carbs or sugar; emphasis on protein, healthy fat, and low-carb veggies; one “cheat meal” per week; resume daily walking habit; be more consistent about taking my physician-recommended supplements (fish oil, Vitamin D, lysine, probiotics); floss every night; no electronics past 9, light out 10:30; up at 6:30 (although I will have to tweak this after school starts again).
But there are other, less direct steps I can take that will contribute to my overall well-being. Practice piano FIRST, spend less time on social media and more time doing all the things that make my spirit soar (writing, making things, cooking, baking); listen to more music; take a bubble bath every Sunday afternoon; get a pedicure every two weeks; cuddle with my dog.
And while I’m at it, I will work on letting go of the past, doing a better job of keeping in touch with the people I love, making some new friends.
There is so much ugliness in the world outside; even those I hold nearest and dearest cannot seem to agree where the solutions lie. Like many, I feel overwhelmed, confused, nearly helpless. But one thing I can do – TODAY – is take steps to restore myself. Moving forward, I will do what I can to affect change one habit, one kindness, one person, one day at a time.