At the end of a very hectic and demanding morning at work, my office mate kindly asked me if I was “ok”.
Gosh, did I seem that stressed out?? What just happened?
I said “Ya, I’m ok. Just a really busy morning”. She said she hasn’t seen me sit down, use the bathroom or drink any water all morning.
I didn’t even realize this. It was just another very busy clinic morning. I had added an urgent appointment for a baby with a skin rash first thing in the morning before our clinic started and they showed up late giving us very little time between their appointment and my next one. They had a complicated skin issue and many questions so needless to say I was running behind schedule from the start.
The morning just seemed to keep compounding and I just couldn’t catch up.
Patient’s were complaining at the front desk that I was running behind. I wish they understood why, but I had to keep going.
My staff and myself spent the first moments of the visits the rest of the morning apologizing for the delay and appreciated their patience.
I stayed the course and made sure each patient had all of their concerns addressed and questions answered.
In the meantime I forgot to drink water, go to the bathroom, sit down and pause.
~ Shifting Perspective ~
And then it hit me……I needed to take a moment to breathe, relax, nourish my mind and body.
I had only 20 minutes before the afternoon patients were scheduled to start arriving. I had to make a decision on how I would use my time. I could either keep going and push myself to eat while I get some of my notes done, or I could take 5 or 10 minutes or gosh even all of that time and do some mini self-care and just stay late after work to finish charting.
~ Time for a Pause ~
I left everything at my desk and decided to take a short walk around the office complex and brought a snack with me.
On my walk, I walked slow and paid attention to all off the little details of things when I walked by. This helped to clear my mind of all the things I had left to do when I got back to my desk. I noted the colors of green in the trees, the sounds of the different birds, the feel of the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the occasional breeze.
When I got back to my desk, I felt much more refreshed. I heated my lunch and spent the last 10 minutes nourishing my body and saved all of the charting and paperwork for later.
My afternoon was much smoother and I ended up staying a few hours later than normal catching up on paperwork from the morning.
Leaving the office later meant I was stuck in a lot more traffic than usual on my commute home, so I opted to spend this time listening to an inspiring podcast on my drive home which made it go by faster.
When I got home, it was late. I was exhausted, but happy to be home. I kept up with my “self-care” and had a nice, relaxing dinner, spent time stargazing and then had a warm bath before I went to bed.
The next morning I woke up before my alarm and decided to get a few things done that morning before work that I had been procrastinating. I realized that these things really didn’t take that long and I felt so much better when I did them.
~ Then I had an “ah-ha” moment…… ~
I had somehow made self-care an escape from my “stressful” days, rather than just part of my everyday!
I used to be sure I spent my days incorporating little bits and pieces of self-care, but over time “life” took over. I don’t even know exactly when this happened. I just knew I needed to get back to living my life everyday with the mindset of taking care of myself first.
~ Time for Change ~
I needed to get back in the mindset that self-care isn’t just something I want to do when I’ve had a busy day and sit in the bathtub after a stressful day….
~ Redefining Self-Care ~
Self-care is embracing doing things that we need to for the nourishment of our inner selves to thrive in our true happiness that makes us glow inside and out.
So take your relaxing baths, have your glass of wine, go to the spa, get a massage, sleep in on the weekends, watch the sunset, stargaze….. but also…..
Do the things that make YOU happy!
Say the things that YOU need to say!
Live your life in a way that makes YOU happy!
Yes, do your “self-care”, but please…..make this the way you live the moments of your life, rather than an escape from a “stressful” life.