I believe most of us are aware of the importance of taking care of ourselves. We know we need our sleep and exercise. We know we need to eat right. We know we need a balance of work and play in our lives.
But sometimes things just sort of creep up on you. Your body hurts and the weather is yucky, so you stop walking. You do some exercises inside but some days you keep putting it off and then it is supper time and you are just “done” for the day.
I cook for myself and my husband. The food is healthy, but it is important that my husband keeps his weight up, so I often cook high calorie meals. Now, I know the simple answer to this for me is to be careful of portion control for myself. But I don’t often do this for a couple of reasons – I am tired and hungry, and I hate to throw out food.
I am busy with my work and have been diligent about stopping at supper time to have down time with my husband. But I often stop rather than feeling like I am finished with what I wanted to accomplish in the day. I am working on several big projects with another organizer and feel that I am not holding up my fair share. This can be stressful.
Top this all off with the COVID-19 stress and worry and we have an unhealthy situation.
So, if a situation is not good what should you do? Obviously, the answer is to make some changes with self-care. Good self-care reduces the negative effects of stress and can help you refocus on the positives.
The first thing I did was get away with my husband for a mini vacation. He had just had a birthday and we used this excuse to go visit his son in Pawley’s Island. We were very safety conscious on the trip with wipes, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and packing food or eating outside. I had three days of rest, reading, and eating while looking at and listening to the ocean. I did the bare minimum of work – only filling some previously made obligations. I could feel the stress leave my body.
Now we are home, and I am looking at what to change in my routines:
· Exercise – as a dear friend told me, do the dreaded indoor exercises first thing in the morning, and then take your shower to rinse away the hurt. Also schedule three days of walking, even if it is only for a block.
· Food – drink a couple of glasses of water before each meal. Watch the portion of food you put on the plate. If there are leftovers, realize that it is OK to throw them out.
· Work – I always have a plan and a schedule for my day but often it is ridiculously tight. While it is still OK to put all that I want to accomplish on my day’s list and make a schedule, I also want to pick the three big things I want to accomplish or at least work on each day and then at the end of the day let what did not get done go. Tomorrow is another day and I can begin again.
· Covid-19 – I will continue to be cautious, but I will not worry over what I cannot control.
Just putting together a plan helps to reduce the stress. I am aware that making the plan is the vision and implementation is what makes it work. I am putting the exercise on my daily schedule; I already do a weekly menu but am adding water as a reminder to myself.
With good self-care, here is to a less stressed me!