But something happened this morning I wasn't so proud of. This was the first morning, in two months, where I had a few spare hours. I got up at 5:45 to feed the baby girls and didn't have any other responsibilities until 10:00. So, what did I do with that extra time? Thankfully, I took a shower, put on some makeup, did some yoga, and made breakfast before doing laundry, dishes, and computer work. However, I almost jumped right into dishes, computer work, irrigation, and more. You see, I've become so accustomed to constantly being busy over the last two months that I almost missed out on the opportunity for self-care. And here is the thing, I may have handled the last two months really well but I won't indefinitely.
I was talking to a friend yesterday who has a high-stress job in the healthcare field. We were talking about the fact that health care providers, on average, live twenty years less than people in less stressful jobs. The stress of the job wouldn't take that kind of toll if we healthcare practitioners took better care of ourselves. Yet, we almost see our hectic schedules and high-risk responsibility as a badge of honor. We build up a tolerance to the stress load and think we're handling it just fine ... but we aren't.
Self-care is critical. And it isn't just health care providers that don't prioritize it. I see this everywhere; from busy Moms and sleep deprived college students to business owners and children. I love what I do and I'm more than happy to wake up everyday and work really hard to achieve my goal of helping others be happy and healthy. And here is the secret, I don't need to compromise my own health to do that.
But it's easy to end up in a stress hole and then dig it deeper. So, my suggestion is that we catch ourselves when we're about to dig that hole deeper, put down the shovel, and step out of the hole.