I spent this past weekend camping in the woods along Ginnie Springs, Florida not far from where I currently live. My brother-in-law and I went out on Friday to set up camp, we searched for the perfect spot until we finally found one on the bank of the river. Two trees lined a large opening for us to see out on the river to the other side and a large tree trunk lined the bank that separated a small beach area from our camp site. It was perfection.
This weekend was a friendly reminder to me of how important it is for me to get out, experience nature, be in the moment and unplug from electronics. I tend to spend a lot of time on my computer for various work, whether I am coaching or creating, or writing blog posts or articles. It’s a lot of screen time. I enjoy doing all of those things but it’s not always healthy and certainly not the ideal for long term wellness. Frankly, I’d much rather smell like a bonfire, be barefoot and sitting on a tree trunk.
Sometimes we don’t realize how much we actually spend being “connected” to an outer world rather than connecting in the present world.
This past week I talked with a client about the importance of taking care of our own needs. This can be called radical self-care or self-love, or simply just admitting for a hot second that you deserve to be happy, and to do things that make you feel grateful that you’re alive and get to have fun experiences in your life. Prioritizing our own needs helps us to do the necessary in life. It sounds crazy but it’s true.
There are a lot of different ways to do this. For me, I know that I love being in nature, exploring new places, and spending time being with people. This is a part of what makes me who I am. I have to tap into these aspects of myself in order to feel sustained in life. This is how I get my energy back, how I recharge and fuel up my reserves to take care of everything else I have to do day-in and day-out.
For you this could look very different, perhaps staying home is how you recharge. Your “downtime” so-to-speak can literally be not doing much of anything. Whatever your individual needs are, prioritize them.
You may have a long list of all the things that you need to get done today, this week, or next week or this month. All of these things are must’s, you have to get them done. Well go ahead and add in your personal needs to that list because guess what, to prioritize your own needs is as necessary as everything else on your list. If not more important. These things that make you happy now become “must’s” on your list.
Sometimes this can seem even more difficult for people with chronic illnesses, but it’s ALL the more important. In some cases for people with chronic pain we tend to ignore ourselves inadvertently because we’re so exhausted by everything else in life. Break this habit now.
Remember that none of what is on your list will get done with you! You are worth taking the time for yourself, for having fun, and enjoying life.