The importance of self-care

A couple of weeks ago I was in bed watching television. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, except it was in the middle of the afternoon. The thought came to me that I spend a lot of my time doing this…too much of my time. And when I’m not lounging watching the tube, I get behind a computer and either check out the internet or write. Plenty of times I have my laptop and tv going at the same time. I can do kicked-back multi-tasking with the best of them.

I lead a sedentary lifestyle….very sedentary.

It hasn’t always been this way. This is a fairly recent development. Even though I haven’t worked a 9-to-5 gig in some time, I was still fairly active. Yeah, I may have created activities to keep myself from being bored to death, but at least I was doing something.

But then came the pandemic….

I can’t totally blame the pandemic. In the early days I made a determined effort to keep moving. I’d walk around my neighborhood a few times each day. Besides the exercise, the walks helped keep my mind off all the illness and death that was surrounding us.

I’m not sure when and why I stopped walking. Maybe the obsession with getting in the daily 5000 to 7000 steps burned me out. Maybe it was the cold temperatures of late fall/winter that made going outside less appealing. Probably it was some of both.

Last week I told this story to my mental health professional. Hey, if you’ve read the last few paragraphs, you can’t be surprised I have a therapist. Anyway, her response to when I told her about the recent ‘laziness’ was to tell me not to use that word. She said to call it a “lack of motivation.”

Next, she talked about the importance of self-care. You need to do the things that make and keep you physically and mentally happy and healthy. It’s especially important during a pandemic that is keeping most of us at home.

We talked about setting up some goals. Nothing too stressful; just find a few things to do every day that would make me feel better about myself and life. They include reading books, listening to music and walking.

I’m back out on the streets again. But, instead of stressing over not hitting an arbitrary goal, I take a short walk until I feel like stopping. If I miss a day, it’s not a big deal. There’s always tomorrow.

Related Post: What can you do during a week off during a pandemic

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