Change your thinking about taking care of yourself

Perhaps, like me, you know someone with a chronic health condition who does not do the things s/he should to manage it. Or, maybe that person is you. There are often good reasons for not taking the time for adequate care of the body. One reason is modern life often puts us in our heads and we become out of touch with our bodies. Another is just life: so many competing demands for our time.  I struggle with this, too, even though I have a bit more flexibility in my schedule than many people.

If you neglect yourself and become physically, mentally or emotionally depleted or burned out, how can you meet your obligations in your family, community and workplace? Burning the candle at both ends is not a viable long-term strategy.

What do we need to do to take good care of ourselves? Generally, get a reasonable amount of sleep, some exercise, eat decently, have social support. If you need to make a change for the better in any of these areas, the first step is to think about it differently. You have to be mentally prepared to make a change to act on it.

I found this quotation from Rolf Gates, in his book Meditations from the Mat to help me adjust my thinking on the merits of good self-care.

“Our body is the home of our spirit. It is the means by which we enact our beliefs. Therefore, the maintenance of the body is a spiritual duty, an act of love not only toward ourselves but toward all humanity.”

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