Be aware of the value of self-care

Published 7:32 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

Everywhere around me I have witnessed the increase of health issues as people remain steadfast and focused on taking care of everyone else and place themselves on the backburner.  This is a phenomenon that often occurs when caregiving is a necessity and because our love for our family and friends outweighs the love we have for ourselves. At times, we find that we develop negative signs of poor body maintenance and in need of receiving lectures from our physicians about why we feel that we are not important enough to take care of.  I’ve been there, you’ve been there- we’ve all been there and yet we still struggle to make sense of taking the time to slow down and engage in some of the simple practices of health and body awareness that are readily available.

Grieving, though normal, is a huge challenge for those who find it difficult to stay motivated in the first place.  Grief takes away our energy and creates an atmosphere of loss that steals our willpower and taunts us with its ability to create havoc in our lives.  For many, grief can create significant health issues, anywhere from major weight loss or gain, insomnia, lack of interest in our active daily living skills, isolation and/or the inability to focus on our wants and needs, etc.  All of these things add up to a situation that can become frightening and the more advanced it becomes without our noticing can leave an imprint on our soul that makes it difficult to bounce back from.

What is most important to remember, once the foggy haze of grief has lifted, is that we must find ways to care for ourselves better.  Canceled doctor’s appointments should be rescheduled and new routines should be carved out that meet our needs.  Staying active and eating a healthier diet are also strongly encouraged, which really takes an honest effort due to our overall malaise and lack of motivation, and yet, almost everyone states that these are imperative and important aspects that contribute to our eventual healing.

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Taking care of ourselves, placing ourselves first every once in a while can be very uncomfortable and even that action in itself is a painful reminder that we have lost someone dear to us.  Sometimes the pain and the struggle are what is necessary to gently remind us that without that, there is no growth.  Growth truly emerges from the loss and the adversity that we face and many will share that in the long run, it makes them stronger.  Of course, when we are in the beginning stages of grieving, the future does not seem hopeful and transformation appears unattainable; however, with time, we can almost always look back and see how much progress we have made and draw strength from our having faced that adversity.  When we emerge from the other side of our loss, we tend to care for ourselves better, and when we do, our minds become clearer and we even manage to discover more energy in every step. 

Never forget that you are important and that taking care of you is crucial.  Consider discussing self-care with your friends and examine ways in which they coped with their loss, finding something that speaks to you and encourages you to engage in the whole self- mind, body and spirit.  And remember, you are always worth it.