It can be so very easy to forget to take care of ourself.
Whether we're coping with the heartbreak of a loved one's serious illness, grieving a death or other loss, or caring for others at home, for work, or in a volunteer situation – it's far too easy to string ourselves out.
When we're spending so much focus and energy on the other person, being, or cause, it can be extremely difficult to remember to take care of ourself. Especially over time.
There's been a lot of talk about self-care over the last few years. Mostly, it's been about add-ons, like bubble baths and trips to the spa.
But while we're going through these intense times, what might be missing is the basics.
What's basic? Here's my short-list:
Remember to eat. And if you're doing okay with that, then work on eating healthfully.
Get enough sleep. Let yourself sleep as long as your body wants to.
Get outside for some deep breaths of fresh air – and to connect with the natural world. Move your body to whatever degree you can, even if it's just stretching.
Make time to pay attention to your thoughts and body sensations, instead of trying to push them away. Even better: Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings by writing about them, art-ing about them, or moving with them – so you're not holding them all inside.
And be in touch with supportive people – whether that's your friends, co-workers, or a professional. Keeping all your thoughts and feelings inside can make everything feel much worse than if someone listens fully, without judgement – for as long as you need.
May you find ways to care for yourself as you're going through this difficult time.