We all know that it is important to take care of ourselves. Constant reminders to eat right, exercise and sleep appear in social media, magazines and television. Likewise, we hear about the need for downtime and unplugging ourselves from social media and electronics. I suggest in my own posts that taking a break from social media is helpful for overall mood and peace of mind. Yet, I have a hard time sitting still. I am used to be working hard, being busy and, when I do not have something that must be done, I start to feel like something is wrong. With age and reflection, I have realized that being busy is a great distraction from discomfort.
I do not like to feel uncomfortable. I don’t know many people who do. There is some value to creating “busy-ness” to distract you from discomfort and pain especially when those feelings are huge and overwhelming. On the other hand, there is greater value to sitting with and feeling the uncomfortable feelings in order to get through them. I did not know this when I was younger. I am learning tolerance for discomfort as I get older.
For me, tolerating discomfort means practicing stillness, taking time to breathe and allowing myself to just be without having to do something. It’s hard work and I am not great at it . . . yet. Discomfort flows in stillness and being, but the breathing in and out lessens its intensity. This is what I have discovered. You may too.
Life involves discomfort
We can’t escape discomfort. Certain life circumstances (ie. work, relationships, parenting, divorce, etc.) trigger discomfort. But, in these circumstances, it is critical to practice self-care and to take time to breathe and be. For people experiencing divorce, being in a good space both physically and mentally helps when big decisions need to be made.
Here are some self-care tips:
- Regular exercise relieves stress and helps improve mood.
- Be mindful of your eating. The bag of Hershey kisses may seem like a quick pick-me-up fix but has no positive long-term reward.
- Cut yourself some slack. Divorce is tough and not managing life’s tasks at full capacity is okay.
- Recreate and spend time with good friends.
- Create an awesome playlist of upbeat songs that make you smile and want to sing. Play it often.
- Make sleep a priority. If you are having trouble sleeping, seek help from a physician, naturopath or other health care provider.
- Journal. By writing out your feelings or worries, you may have a better perspective on your situation or you may be able to distance yourself from some of the intensity of the emotion.
- Seek comfort and support from people who are positive. Friends with the best of intentions may not be best for you if they are droning on about their own divorce experience or repeatedly bashing your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
In closing, do not minimize the importance of self-care. You will not be able to take care of others let alone life’s business if you are not tending to your own needs.
Need more encouragement?
For more direction and encouragement, check out my books, Divorce Wisdom and Bits of Divorce Wisdom. Both books are available on Amazon and information can be found right here on this site.