The Importance of Prioritizing Self Care

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We all have those days when we just feel off. While I’m pleased to say I am on the mend from mono (though obviously still taking it easy and listening to my body when it asks for more rest), mono meant a complete change in my day to day and it really started to catch up with me.

When you’re someone who is active and finds relief, relaxation and renewal through physical movement (running, yoga, walking), when you are suddenly forced into stillness, rest, and recovery mode, it doesn’t always go very well. Boredom quickly sets in and while an easy Netflix evening may be nice from time to time, it’s not my norm and hours of laying on the couch in front of a screen (and too tired to even hold up a book), got old quickly. It didn’t take long to feel like I was just living in my head. And we all know that’s not a place we want to spend a lot of time. 😉

Despite all of those moments with myself, I was starting to feel disconnected. Obviously from the rest of the world, but also a bit from myself. I started questioning everything. And I do mean everything.

Thank goodness for friends willing to hear me out. To help bring me back down to Earth. To remind me that it’s understandable to feel off when I’ve basically been quarantined from the things and people that bring me life. Even as I started to bring myself back to life though, I still found myself easily slipping back into those moments of high anxiety, insecurity, and uncertainty.

I was curled up in my bed Saturday afternoon on the phone with my friend (and coach) Justine explaining how I was feeling, recognizing my reality, but still sharing where I was anyway. There were tears and J reminded me the importance of letting them happen.

We talked about the mono. We talked about my thoughts. We talked about what I needed. And the answer was easy: self care.

But what do you do when your favorite and regular go-to form of self care involves physical exertion and you’re at a moment of needing less of that very thing. I have slowly been returning to physical activity, careful to avoid a relapse, and while the workouts have felt good, I still needed more of that self care.

When I got off the phone with J, wiping a few more tears from my cheeks, I got up and made myself some gluten free toast with almond butter and sliced banana; I grabbed my deck of cards about essential oils and emotions and decided on a blend of Rosemary and Wild Orange for my diffuser; I put my phone on “do not disturb” and turned on my audiobook of ‘Braving the Wilderness’ by Brene Brown; I kept the lights down low and I sat in a different chair than I have been this week. After a chapter of my book, I moved back to the couch, covered myself with a blanket and took a nap, then I took a hot shower.

Immediately I started feeling better.

Physically I was still tired (I didn’t sleep well the night before thanks to a migraine), but mentally I was already feeling a layer of the anxiety lift; I was feeling my comfort within my own mind and body settle. The boy had plans for the evening so I knew it would be an easy night home for me and I was more than happy for that, but instead of trying to pack that evening in writing all the blog posts, editing my freelance article, re-organizing my pantry, cleaning every inch of my apartment, and whatever other things I was prepared to throw on my to-do list, I moved slowly, doing what felt within reach.

I gathered my books and notebooks for yoga teacher training and put them in a bag so they will be easy to grab on Thursday; I made a spray and cleaned my yoga mats; I took and edited a few photos for Instagram and got them scheduled; I wrote this post; I was productive in a way that felt full of ease, comfort, and love.

I am someone who doesn’t get sick often, but when I do, my body usually throws something major at me, forcing me to not just slow down, but basically stop me right in my tracks. It’s sure to grab the attention of this go-go-go girl and throw me into a state of complete rest.

I’m not saying if you’re like me, you’re going to get mono if you don’t take time to slow down, but what I am saying is that regardless of your personality or level of hustle, it’s important to prioritize self care as it has the power to take us from a state of complete exhaustion and help guide us back to where we can best show up for the world.

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How can you prioritize self care in your life this week?