April is Stress Awareness Month. Is it a coincidence that it coincides with one of the major stressors in American’s lives? (Tax Day) We all face every day stressors such as our commute, our jobs, paying bills, raising kids. But then there are those other things that compound and have longer lasting effects on you. Perhaps you have finals coming up or a work deadline or family troubles or maybe you’re battling a chronic condition or illness. Or perhaps you have a combination of many stressors in your life.
Stress can be positive – it’s what activates your fight or flight mechanism, or helps you to meet a deadline – or negative. It’s the negative stress that has a detrimental impact on your health and can show up in many ways – over/under eating, not sleeping, acne, physical ailments like stomach or heart issues, and flares of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Learning to cope with these burdens so that they don’t build up can make a huge difference in your health.
It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, and appetite problems — and yes, even heart disease.
Lately I haven’t been loving myself enough. I have been running on empty, with “no spoons” left to give. No energy to blog, no creativity left to give, and dealing with my messy life.
So taking a few days to enjoy a getaway with my family last week was definitely the self-care, self-preservation, and refueling I needed. Being outdoors is my happy place, as I believe it is holistically therapeutic to be outside.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
~ William Blake
I took these pictures while on vacationing in Oregon this past January. We took a day trip to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, visit the Tillamook Dairy factory, and stop by Cannon Beach and the famous “Goonies rock”. This day was special because it was one of the few days we got to explore Oregon — we spent the next two days of our trip snowed in!
Do you wait for opportunities to come your way, or do you make the most of every situation? I prefer to make the most out of everything, which is why my blog is subtitled “Finding Inspiration in Every Day Life”.
I love to find inspiring words and share them with others and find ways to apply them to my life. After all, the fun in life is sharing, caring, loving, and giving. Yes, I truly believe that.
“I can’t do everything but I can do SOMETHING. I will not let the things I cannot do prevent me from doing the things I can.” ~ Helen Keller
It’s been a few months since my last blog post. My absence can be attributed to two things: First, with my daughter now away at college and my son working full time, I have found I have free time to find what I enjoy doing and am passionate about. That time has been spent volunteering and being active with my leadership alumni group of friends. The second more compelling reason for my absence has been related to a new/old health issue that has been causing me a tremendous amount of pain. Chronic pain is a real energy drain. So any spare time I have had lately has been spent resting, visiting doctors, researching the problem, and trying to feel better. (More on this in another blog…)
While chronic pain may limit the things I can do physically, I am able to share my other talents by volunteering. Giving back. Sometimes the selfless act of helping others can help us forget the pains we suffer. So I volunteer with Women in Technology at girls STEM events, and I joined the board of a local food pantry (who is so much more to the community) to try to help them make a difference. As the quote notes, I can’t do EVERYTHING, although Lord knows I have tried. But I can do SOMETHING.
Do you volunteer? I would love to hear the sorts of things you do.
Self-love, self-care, and balance don’t just happen. It takes strength and courage to put ourselves first.
January is Self-Love month and Get a Balanced Life month. (Or so I am told by one of those sites that lists all of the real and made-up holidays for the year.) Appropriate I would say for the first month of the new year. New year, new start, new resolutions to break bad habits. I love the beginning of the year when I start a new planner that is filled with blank pages, just waiting for me to fill them up with goals, plans, quotes. This year, I am starting a new system based on the bullet journal approach, but I am using a standard planner (I searched high and low for one I think will work for all areas of my life) because I didn’t want to spend the extra time (or energy) writing out all of my own calendars each week/month.
But back to the reason for my post…Self-love or self-care are important for everyone, as is balance in life. These all lead to less stress and better health and self-esteem, adding up to a happy, joyful, and fulfilling life. Sounds great, right? So why don’t we do these things more? The normal stresses of every day life take their toll. Work, family, kids’ activities, cooking, cleaning, shopping. They all add up. And at the end of the day, you’re so tired from all of that you just want to crawl into bed rather than spend a little extra time pampering yourself. Sound about right?
“One woman filled with self love and self acceptance is a model more SUPER than any cover girl.”