What Can You Do?

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Every day brings a different set of variables that can work against your ability to look after yourself in a way that keeps you operational. We all know that eventually the piper must be paid; that our mind and body are just not going to keep going in a very functional way without proper maintenance. But who’s going to explain how you are supposed to do the self-care thing when there is work to do and children to take care of and mouths to feed and bills to pay and a house to keep from falling down around you?
It’s easy to get discouraged when life doesn’t allow the full self-care package of daily exercise, healthful food 3 meals a day, mindful deep breathing all day long and good sleep hygiene. It makes anything less feel pointless. What I like about this list of 45 Work Self-Care Ideas for Your Physical, Emotional and Mental Health is how it makes even one tiny little act of self-care worthwhile. Any given day, life may conspire to pile up birthday celebrations on top of dinner obligations on top of a days that have no room for exercise on top of work and family obligations. But then comes this list that concerns itself with doing “…what you can, with what you have, where you are,” taking a page from Theodore Roosevelt. It makes self-care always available, no matter the make-up of the day because even in the midst of craziness there can always be the self-care victory of being present for yourself. This article makes it feel like just the singular act of raising your desk into the standing position is a win to feel good about. How looking at a tree for a moment or two puts you in touch with nature in a way that does count even if you can’t get outside and take a walk in it.
Thinking about self-care in a way that values the one big breath as much as the 2-mile walk is what wires a mentality of self-care into our daily lives so we aren’t postponing it all for a time when life isn’t so crazy. It makes it more likely we’ll jump at the random opportunity to take a walk when the getting is good. Over time, the most important win is thinking about self-care as an all proposition as opposed to an all-or-nothing one.
What can you do today to keep yourself in better running order? I think I will assume goodwill today in all of my interactions. That’s always a good one. Hope you land a good one, too.