I’ve been at this self-care challenge for nearly eight months now. Every single day – for 228 days to be exact – I’ve taken at least one action that fits within the 8-dimensional self-care model that I developed.
I must admit, some days have been easier than others. There have been days when the word challenge was exactly the right description of this endeavor, but for the most part I’ve gotten progressively more proficient at incorporating activities that support my health.
The most significant thing I’ve learned so far is that sometimes it’s the simplest things that have the biggest impact. Sure, spending a day at the spa indulging in luxuriously expensive treatments is lovely, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to more health benefits.
Instead, it’s the little acts of kindness we show ourselves that we remember the most. It’s the 15-minute walk we take at lunch, the yoga class we gift ourselves after work, the delicious home-cooked meal that we took extra care to prepare.
Yesterday, I went for a walk with a friend. Having learned a huge lesson the day prior, I decided to take more breaks and get to bed earlier.
The evening walk was a welcome treat. First, it provided me with an opportunity to get some much-needed exercise. After sitting for such long periods of time, I really needed some physical activity.
Second, it allowed me to reconnect with my friend. We caught up on what we’ve been doing this summer, various projects we’re working on, and ideas for the future – I love people who are idea generators!
And finally, it brought me out from behind my computer screen and into the green landscape. At one point as we meandered down a mysterious path (there are many in the area), we walked within feet of a deer who was casually munching on some shrubs. She glanced our way, quickly disregarded any threat, and continued munching. Perhaps the giant smiles on our faces clued her in that we were harmless. It was impossible not to smile. In fact, not more than 3 minutes prior, my friend had just gotten done saying she loves watching deer, but hasn’t seen many this year.
Walking with a friend was a great way to end the weekend.