It has been an insanely busy week. Can you relate? Yesterday, I went for a long walk. Not just to get "a workout in." But rather, with the intention of just relaxing and enjoying being in nature. I probably don't do this enough. However, my stress level high and I felt depleted. So, I decided to allow myself to just chill out, even though I didn't feel like I had enough time to take even an hour or so to recharge.

After walking for a bit, and finally chilling out enough to enjoy it, I started to feel differently. I decided to listen to music that was relaxing, rather than the usual workout type fare. By the time it was over, I was breathing more calmly and I returned home feeling peaceful, and surprisingly, more energized at the same time. I felt better able to focus and continue my work for the day, which was waiting for me at home.

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Why do we put off taking care of ourselves? I suppose it could be the feeling that it's too self-indulgent, we don't have enough time, or maybe we can't justify the expense of certain stress relieving aids--such as massage, for example--in the midst of so many other things that need our attention. However, I know that when I do, I feel so much more recharged. That's good for me, yeah. But, it's also good for those for whom I am doing work, and for my family and friends.

When we take care of ourselves--whether that means taking the time to prepare and/or eat food that nourishes us, getting a bit of exercise, spending some time in nature doing something you love, taking time to meditate or have a massage--we are better able to care for those in our lives. You may have heard that when you're in a plane, if the oxygen masks come down, put yours on FIRST. That way you're able to help others when needed. If you can't "breathe," how can you help others to do so?

I want to encourage you to take some time on a more regular basis to engage in a bit of self-care--whatever that looks like for you, whether you're a man or woman, young or older. You deserve it, and those around you do, too.

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