A little self care is good for you and those around you

If you don’t take care of yourself, it’s hard to care for others

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

KellyColumn415Newest815Now that I have added “full time student” to my already overflowing resume (700 jobs, 2 kids and 1 husband), I have been less than pleasant to hang around with. I know this about myself. Guess what? I KNOW THIS. For the foreseeable future, there is not much hope of anything changing anytime soon. I have to finish this semester and endure an equally challenging one after the holidays. So, buckle up. I will be miserable until May, at the earliest.

But, do I have to be? A smattering of the psychobabble I have been spewing to family and friends on a regular basis is starting to infiltrate the dark, pessimistic recesses of my (tired, old) brain. I’m referring specifically to the concept of “self­care.” Now, the women out there reading that last sentence are doubled over in laughter. Self care? Who has the luxury to worry about self­care? I mean, how many mornings have your feet hit the floor at 6:00am and it wasn’t until a full 16 hours later that you stopped moving? Yes, I see your hand raised over your head.

The problem with neglecting basic needs is that it slowly erodes the quality of your everyday existence. If you aren’t sleeping enough or eating right or exercising or taking the time to grab coffee with a friend, how can you feel fulfilled? It is much easier to put those things on the back burner and trudge ahead with your never­ending list of “to­do’s.”

My oldest son will be in college this time next year. I certainly do not want the memories of his senior year in high school to be tainted by his psychotic, bleary-­eyed, homework-obsessed mother. I am trying hard to take the time to be present instead of focusing so intently on the future.

But, that’s easier said than done. Baby steps…that’s my best advice. For one of my classes, it is a regular, weekly requirement to identify two things that I did during the week to take care of myself. Some weeks are more difficult than others; but, writing it out on paper does hold you accountable to try a bit harder to make things happen.

What do YOU do for your self­care? Please share in the comment section below!

Happy Weekend

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