Bridging the Divided

Self-Care: Invest in You

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Words of wisdom – not from me, however. Mary Englebreit is credited with the phrase. Maya Angelou has a similar saying. Mary is an author, started her own greeting card company, and was editor-in-chief of a creative lifestyle magazine. She is one of those ten-talent people, as my former mother-in-law used to call those with multiple talents. Chances are you have purchased or have one of the many items with her creative and snarky humor. I like creative and snarky humor. 

My YouTube fitness instructor also uses that phrase. YouTube, that’s right. Who knew it’s full of fitness videos for every level of fitness? It beats buying a system that doesn’t work and ends up in a box in the basement or garage. So far, I tune in at least 5 days a week. It’s my break from the computer and job responsibilities. We call it ‘self-care’ now. Here’s a plug for the site I use: Improved Health. Check it out. It’s designed with the senior in mind.

Self-care is important. Women are notoriously bad about fitting self-care into their daily lives. We have too many responsibilities, right? Spouse, home, kids, pets, job, gardening, civic clubs, more do-gooder clubs, church, the list is endless. I did most of those things back in the day – not so much these days. Hey, we slow down as we age, right? Either way, we still are not good at including self-care in our daily lives. Why? For many of us, it’s because we don’t place a high enough value on our health and lives, but we are far more valuable than we think. The trick is believing it.

What do you do for yourself at least three times a week that is only for you whether it’s simply to take a moment or improve an area of your life? I chose to start exercising, to take a step back from the computer. I hope to lose some weight, and more importantly, strengthen my body. So far, I have noticed an increase in energy levels, and the daily aches and pains that set in during the so-called golden years have definitely lessened. My clothes fit better and I am seeing evidence of toning and strengthening. I feel more like myself. Physical activity and exercise increase the feel-good hormones released from the brain. Endorphins, as they are called in medical speak, help alleviate depression. The daily break I take to exercise is my idea of self-care. Now, I look forward to my self-care time.   

I took Mary’s advice. I can’t change the fact that I am aging, but I can do something about slowing down its deterioration of the mind, body, and spirit. I think differently about myself – I am proud of myself, proud that I show up every day, proud of myself for sticking with it, and proud of the changes I am seeing. I am a better me for investing in myself. Is it time to invest in yourself…..?                          

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