“If you want to live a meaningful life that also makes a difference in the lives of others, you need to make a difference in your own life first.”
– Cheryl Richardson
I’m not the best example for self-care. After my running group disbanded several years ago, I stopped running. Then a bout of plantar fasciitis made it painful to walk, and I quit exercising altogether. I gained weight and became stressed. Sleepless nights made me irritable and lethargic during the day, so I didn’t want to exercise. I was caught in an unhealthy cycle.
A Woman Making Strides understands that challenges happen to everyone and takes steps to deal with them. The physical, psychological, and spiritual areas of our lives intertwine, and a step forward in one area helps us move forward in another.
In the situation above, a step forward for my mind might have been to think proactively. I could have run by myself or found a new running group. I might have swam or biked rather than use my sore heel as an excuse. A step forward mentally could have moved me forward physically.
Recently I lost my job, and my mother passed away two weeks later. During the first couple months, I felt like I was in shock. I’m still sad about losing my Mom, and I am out of shape again. But just as one downward step can lead to another, one upward step has momentum, too. I am taking steps to care for myself in each area:
- Body – Walking 15 minutes a day lifts my mood and eases tension. A website holds me accountable. Each day, I must select “Yes I walked today” or “No I didn’t”.
- Mind – I work with a life coach for support through my slump. She helps me clarify my goals and be proactive.
- Spirit – I start my day by reading the Bible, specifically passages about the Holy Spirit such as Acts 1-3 and John 14-17.
These steps help me deal with my recent losses. Moving forward could also include eating healthy meals, reaching out to a counselor, or seeking spiritual guidance.
What would you like to be different in your life? Will your next step be for the body, mind or spirit? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below.