Day 2 of Juneathon via smartphone. Hope you enjoy the pics!
What do you think about when I say self-care? To me, self-care is doing something selfish to nurture yourself so you are more able to deal with the stressors of life/people in a healthy way. And guess what? I fully believe that we all need to be selfish. We really need to spend time taking care of ourselves even when we feel like we shouldn’t.
What ways do you take care of yourself? I have found this differs for many people but in the end it comes down to what makes us feel good which could be getting a haircut, spending time shopping, taking a long bath or even just reading a book. I was told today by a fellow clinician that I have the best self-care they have ever seen, I found it very interesting and it made me think.
Why is mine any different than others and really what is it? So I started thinking about my day. Starting with my work because in my field it is very easy to forget about yourself and work very long hours because the need is so great. I have learned that I am not a good clinician if I work to many hours in a week. I find that I don’t think as clear and I am not present for my clients. So I limit the amount of hours I work (usually around 37-40) and I only have one long day during the week as well as being done working with clients by 1pm on Friday’s (I kind of feel sorry for my last client on Friday because sometimes I’m so tired by that point that I feel like they don’t get all my attention.) I structure my day with the same routine during the week which is breakfast, devotional and daily gratitude list making me list at least 3 things I’m grateful for each day without repeating anything during the week (give it a try because it really makes you look at all the small things and be grateful). Even when I’m not training for a marathon, I try to spend at least 5-6 days at the gym or doing some type of physical exercise a week because I really am a better person to be around if I’m doing this. I have learned to take the positive approach to things even when the most negative things happen. (This may not seem like self-care but if a negative thought is taking over your mind than you tend to stress and beat yourself up about things that are out of your control) And finally I have found that adding a massage to my life once a month not only helps the stress release but the sore muscles from all that running and cross training.
Now that I spell it all out, I do have pretty good self-care. Also, I’m pretty selfish. But you know what, I don’t hear any complaints from my family, friends and coworkers/clients. I really believe being selfish is a good thing. Are you selfish? Why not? I will allow you to label it “Self-Care”! 🙂
Today I took the day off, well it was a planned day off in fact I took a long weekend starting with Friday. I knew we were going up to Vermont to visit our oldest and I also knew that we would have a packed weekend so it seemed like a good idea to have a rest day on Monday. Which in reality means a day to get stuff done after being gone all weekend. I’m okay with that though.
I started the day by telling my family goodbye as they all set out on their various day. Both of which took them away from home for either the next two days or the whole week. I was okay with that too because it allowed me to spend some time with myself and focus on what I need. This may sound a little selfish but I believe we need to take time for ourselves. I know that I am a better person when I get things done for me and spend some time with myself.
Today I filled this time with the gym, grocery shopping for good lunch items, and had a wonderful massage. I also took some time to really be mindful of what I was doing it while I was doing it. The best was the massage and really breathing and relaxing. I do have an advantage with my massage therapist because I have gone enough times that I know her routine and it always feels better knowing what is coming next and really allows me to relax and almost fall asleep. Now here I sit enjoying my hot chocolate and watching the National Championship football game. Just enjoying and doing things I want to do. I was hoping to read a little which might happen but I would say all in all today was a good day. I’m hoping that by taking this time off for myself I will be a better listener, co-worker and therapist when I return to work tomorrow for a short 4 day work week.
I think everyone should take some time for themselves. You should look at it as taking care of yourself. I know with the stress of the day it is often hard to take a moment and relax but even if it is just having a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or hiding away in the bathroom for 5 mins to breath and regroup, it is necessary. You should challenge yourself to take moment daily to regroup. Take a moment to be mindful of what you are doing and why you are doing it and enjoy it.
Do you take time for yourself? If not, why not? If so, what do you do?
What does your Sunday bring?
Well my Sunday is usually filled with a long run and I am glad to say that I am back to keeping that tradition. Today’s run was like yesterday’s run, HOT. I even got outside almost two hours sooner. What the heck!
This was more of a survival run (at least that is what I kept telling myself).
“Just 4 more miles”
“you can do this for another 3”
“you got this less than 2”
“finally, yippee, the end!”
Let’s not talk about the first 4 miles that sounded something like this
“what the heck, why is it so hot”
“shade, I need shade”
“on your left” (oh I was on a rail trail with bikers and walkers packing the trail and I did pass one or two walkers not bikers. I’m not that fast!)
“I could make this a short run”
“please keep that dog from running out in front of me”
“glad I brought this water”
“wonder if I can get a ride on the back of one of those bikes?”
“I hope if I pass out, someone stops!”
All in all it was a good day, mainly because even though it was hot, it felt good to run and I am so thankful that I can.
Hope you had a great weekend!
8 mile run (9:00 min pace, not fast but done)
Happy 8th day of Juneathon!
I get excited when I make the appointment, knowing that when I am done I will feel soooooo good! I will have been rubbed down and all those spots that are overwhelmed in pain will feel so relieved.
So back to the benefits….
We all know that it helps reduce stress, pain, and muscle tension but I know there is more. For me it gives me “me” time, you know that time that you can just lay there and someone is serving you (I don’t know about you but it doesn’t happen for me to often). A massage also helps me with sinus issues (even though I am completing allergy shots and feeling great, it’s amazing how much massages open up my sinuses). I also find that massage helps with headaches. I have never been a fan of taking to many medications so when I get a headache, I usually find myself putting an icepack on that pesky shoulder of torture or even on my neck as well as doing a self-massage.
I really I think a huge benefit of massage is the feeling of taking care of myself. We all go to doctors and dentists for regular check-ups (if you don’t you better) but who is checking up on our muscles? Who is helping us keep the blood flowing and getting rid of those toxins in our body? For me, my answer is going to be my massage therapist.
I think adding more of these sessions will benefit my marathon training too, not to mention my mental health!
Do you have benefits from massage I haven’t mentioned? When was your last massage? What is keeping you from having another one?
Anticipation also sometimes interpreted as anxiety. Well whatever it is, I’ve got it! I think it is anticipation though. Tomorrow is my favorite race, the Lone Gull 10K and why wouldn’t I like it. It was the first real race I ran as a distance runner, it is along the ocean and every time I have run it I have had wonderful weather and wonderful people there to support me. This year will be no different.
The course has not changed and since this is my third year I have a really good feeling about it. The weather is supposed to be beautiful with the race temp being in the 60’s. I have also got a few more miles under my belt as well as a few more races so I finally feel like I can relax in a race.
My goal is similar to last years which was ”run it in under 50 mins”, last year I missed by 15 seconds. Here is hoping that that is not the case this year. Something really fun about this race (other than we run along the ocean at 9am in the morning and it is beautiful) is that the amount of people registered to run is twice as many as usual. I think that is awesome. I am so glad for the organizers that they have been able to grow this wonderful race (so now I will be running with 1000 of my closests friends!).
Now what to do with all this anticipation/anxiety and how to turn this blog post into a little something more than me talking about a race….
For me I burn anticipation/anxiety by redirecting my thoughts and keeping busy. Today I spent some time doing some things for myself (got an unexpected manicure by a friend) as well as the normal Saturday errands including laundry and grocery shopping. But the one thing that was missing on this beautiful day was a run. And believe me that was hard because it was gorgeous outside. (I try not to run the day before a race no matter how far the race is.) But usually the best way for me to decrease my anxiety is go out for a run and not one with a determined amount of time. I find that my body tells me how far it needs to go to help me feel better. Just last weekend I went out for a run and what was gonna be a 10 mile run turned into a 14 mile run. But in the end I knew I was able to think through my thoughts and I felt less anxious about beginning my work week the next day.
Some other good ways to decrease anxiety:
- Relaxation/Breathing exercises – for me yoga is good especially the low-impact type and breathing is vital to do this well. Also breathing exercises can be done in a stressful situation to help you regain focus too. Like today when the cashier at Wal-mart was a complete jerk to me and all I wanted to do was scream at her because she was so rude but instead I just looked at her and said to myself, “you will not still my joy and I will have a good day despite you!”
- Exercise – I know right, I keep coming back to this but when you are actively doing something you use that pent up energy and you concentrate more on the activity than the thoughts going on in your head.
- Write it down! – Sometimes when feeling anxious, it is a good idea to write down the thought. Then look at it and see if you can reframe it into something different. I call it restructuring your thoughts and my clients as well as myself, call it difficult but it does work.
- Distracting – all of these are forms of distractions. But for this one I guess I mean consciously make the choice to finding something distracting. I have a client who watches movies. He tells me that he goes by the two hour rule, because that is how long most movies are. At the end of the movie he takes a moment to reexamine himself and see where he is and if he can’t handle things, he pops another movie in. This works for him because he has a lot of time on his hands but for others I tell them to try distracting themselves for 30 minutes then reexamine. If 30 minutes is to long then how about 15 mins or maybe even 5 mins but be sure to reward yourself with positive thoughts after you make the time you have allotted for yourself because only by doing this will you get the confidence you need to continue.
How do you deal with anxiety/anticipation?
I’m off to bed early because I have an hour and 15 min drive in the morning to make it to my race and I want to feel rested so I can hit that goal!
As I sit here in my PJ’s relaxing after a long day of not doing much, a little guilt comes over me. The guilt is from the fact I don’t feel like I did much this weekend. I only got one training run in on Saturday and it was only a little over 12.6 miles (which gave me the most miles run in one week ever!). I was hoping to go farther because the weather was beautiful (finally) but my legs were not having it. If you remember (or read my blog) on Friday evening I did weighed lunges and my thighs hurt so bad after I could barely walk. Well that did not change much over the weekend. Saturday while I was running my legs were like, “are we done yet? Are we done yet?” until finally they decided we were done! Luckily I was close to home.
Then today I did headed off to church all dressed up but in pain, came home and fixed breakfast in some pain and then our Easter dinner/lunch which maybe I will call “linner” or “dunch” (I’ll let you decide) with some pain.
So now I sit, trying to decide whether I over did it or whether I will wake up tomorrow glad that I did those lunges because now I feel so much stronger (I will just avoid doing them again anytime soon). But I also wonder why I feel guilty for not doing much. How does one relax without feeling guilty? Well my reasoning right now is that the next few months are going to be crazy with dance competitions, graduation, recitals, and oh yeah, a trip to OKC for a marathon. So relax while you can.
Meeeee!!! Well technically we all need it. Some of us need more than others (I feel like I am one of those people). But is there a difference between sleep and rest. I believe there is. I can wake from a full night’s sleep and not feel rested. Do you ever feel like that?
Always wanting to bring you up to date information, I googled sleep and of course chose the Wikipedia site to fully engage in proper research. Here are some interesting facts:
“Human sleep needs can vary by age and among individuals, and sleep is considered to be adequate when there is no daytime sleepiness or dysfunction.”
One of the questions I always ask my clients is, Are you sleeping? How much? Too much and there are issues, not enough and they generally fall into the category of someone who is in sleep debt and is probably not making good decisions. It is amazing how not getting enough sleep can affect our lives. But again it brings me back to do you feel rested after you sleep?
Recently I have been trying to establish a better sleep routine in hopes of answering that question. Craving the desire to feel rested. This may sound weird but my new routine begins once I get home and know that I am not going anywhere else. I generally change into my PJ’s. I know this might sound unusual to be in PJ’s at 6pm but I think it is really important. This begins to tell my body that it is time to relax. I’m comfortable and I’m not going to go out anymore (and on a night like tonight when it is snowing, I don’t want to go anywhere!) One of the more important reasons to change clothes early rather than later is that you don’t want to startle your body awake by putting on cold clothes right before you go to bed. (I totally understand this because I hate being cold!)
Something else I found helpful has been to get my stuff ready for work for the next day early in the evening otherwise I am thinking about what I need to do first thing in the morning. Let’s be honest I forget things if I wait until then. I also have tried to read a little bit before I go to bed. I can’t say that I do it every night but when I do, I do wake up feeling more rested because I have checked out of the electronic world and spent some quiet time to myself or with my new friends in my book.
These tips have helped me feel more rested from a night’s sleep.
So now on to the fun reason I posted this post. I was on Pinterest (my other addiction) and found this person’s blog about leaving a history for your kids. One of the topics the person had questions about was sleep and I found it very interesting. Here are the questions about sleep, I’ve put my answers in, share yours if you would like. Just something fun for the end of a Monday!
*How many hours do you like to sleep at night? I get 7 to 8 hours
*Do you take naps? I would like to but usually only happens on the weekends.
*Do you like a lot, or few blankets and pillows? I like blankets and my piller! I use to take my piller (pillow) with me when I traveled but I started thinking that a 40 year old looks ridiculous in the airport carrying her pillow.
*Can you sleep anywhere, or does it have to be in your own bed? I sleep better in my own bed. Not a fan of hotel rooms but can usually sleep if a fan is running or something to create white noise.
*What are your favorite conditions for a good-night’s sleep? It has to be cool in the room and I wear ear plugs and a mouth guard. I am a sight to see!!! A true wonderful nights sleep comes when I don’t have to go anywhere the next day and I can wake up when my body wants to as opposed to the alarm waking me up.
*Does it have to be completely dark and quiet? I like dark but fall asleep to the TV on but turned really low with the timer which turns it off within the hour.
Here is hoping we all get a good night of sleep tonight!
I am so happy it is Friday. The unfortunate part is that by the time I write this post and get it posted, it might be Saturday. But I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway! Not even sure what I am gonna write about but I felt the need.
I guess I will start with what I learned this week: I learned that being a therapist is hard! Okay, I already knew that but this week was a real challenge for me (especially in the midst of what felt like my own breakdown/breakthrough). I got into therapy to help people and I guess with it comes the unfortunate wanting to “fix things” for everyone. But, hey guess what, that can’t be done. I know this but have to constantly remind myself I am just there to help others find their strength. They have it inside them, I’m just there to help them. So I guess that is a pretty big lesson to keep reminding myself of or just relearn again, over and over again!
I don’t know about you but I was also overwhelmed this week by the fact that this month has gone so fast. I once heard someone say (and I totally believe) “we rush through our childhood wanting to grow up and then when we grow up we want things to slow down so we can enjoy them.” I’m screaming for things to slow down!!! Can you hear me?! Not sure whether it is effective because life still seems to be cruising by. So this weekend my goal is to try and slow down.
I did take a great step in slowing down tonight. We had a Christmas show (I performed a tap dance with my daughter and it was wonderful) and then poof it was over. Everyone cleared out and the place was quiet. I waited around for the person to come back to lock up and I just sat in the silence. I looked around at the trees that decorated the facility took a couple of pics (here is one) and just tried to relax. I thought about my week, about the tragic news in Connecticut, and just thought “I need to continue to enjoy my family, tell them I love them, and never be afraid to be who I am because life is short.” Maybe that is why you are getting this rambling blog tonight. Maybe I want you to hear, “Life is short. We must take every opportunity to cherish what we have.”
This weekend, this is my focus and something I want to continue to practice throughout the month as well as next year. Maybe that will be my word of the year. Last year’s word was “gratitude”. Maybe this year will be “cherish”. I think it sounds like a plan.
How was your week? Did you learn anything new? Are you glad it is Friday? Do you ever pick a word and think/reflect on it throughout the year? Why or why not? Love to hear from you!
Daily Prompt: (from WordPress): “A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.”
Sanctuary = safety, a place to relax, a place to reconnect with self, with a higher power, with our self-confidence. When I find myself overwhelmed I use a trick I teach quite a few of my clients with anxiety. It’s called visualization and using your favorite place makes the visualization that much easier. Here is where I go….
Our family lake house. It is on an island so the trek begins via a small boat and short ride across to the island. As we move across the water, I can see to the bottom. The water is so clear and you can see the rocks that line the bottom.
Once we make it to shore at the island, I find myself drawn to sit at the edge of the dock. It is here that you can hear the gentle lapping of the water against the dock and the rocks on shore. Sticking my feet in the water, I can feel the refreshing coolness of the water. It is also here that I can see to the bottom of the lake which is only about 3 feet deep. The small sunfish are swimming around and every once in a while one will be brave enough to approach your toes and even take a nibble. A gentle breeze blows through the trees and you can hear the rustle of the leaves. The smell of the wind and water is so clean and refreshing.
I lay back on the dock with my feet hanging in the water and feel the warmth of the wood on my back as the sun beats down on my face. Closing my eyes to hear the sounds of the loons and the nearby ducks.
I feel like I am there right now! This is where I go when I can’t actually go. And when I can it is that much better.
My other option is for a run. Another place to just let go of the stress and overwhelmingness of the day and refocus. Whether it is at the gym on the dreadmill or outside in my neighborhood, nothing beats a good run!