11 August 2011

I Better Be Good to Me

179.6 lbs - Whaaaaaaaaat? Seriously? Aw, come on.

 "Be good to yourself". Have you heard that before? Maybe you've told someone you care about to do that when they're facing a time of crisis. Or maybe someone has told you the same thing when you were in the middle of some rough times. Or maybe you heard it on Oprah. What the heck does that mean, anyway?

I suppose it depends on who you are, and what you consider "good". Being good to yourself could mean anything from treating yourself to a cone of Melted Snowman ice cream to ease a bad day to buying yourself a BMW Z series because you worked so hard this month. "Good" is in the eye of the beholder.

I developed my own definition of being good to myself when I was post-divorce and living alone for the first time. I was struggling with depression and anxiety and had taken a leave of absence from work while I tried to get my proverbial shit together. That was my opportunity to figure out just what being "good to myself" meant to me. This wasn't a hard excercise; it was self-preservation back then.  I had many long, hot baths. I curled up with countless glasses of wine and watched movies. I read. I took classes at the gym and sat in the sauna afterwards with my iPod, listening to music that made my cry and release the hurt that I had been hanging on to for the whole process of ending my marriage. I learned about aromatherapy and growing herbs. I painted. I ran in the rain. I snuggled my dogs. All these things made me feel healthy - inside and out. 

Recently, I have been feeling like I've lost sight of much of what I had learned in my time alone. Day to day stress, compounded by a job that makes me unhappy and the recent health emergency of Miguel as left me feeling beyond out of sorts. Feelings of fear and anxiety are creeping back into my melon. I've been thinking a lot about those years I spent alone and how I was able to find solace in so many things. I'm a much different person now, in a much different situation.   I'm realizing that while I still enjoy a glass of wine and my tub, my world has evolved and I need to identify and recognize what grounds me now when things are topsy-turvy. But how does one do that? Where do you start to look for the things that soothe your soul when you feel like you're unravelling and running out of string?

Luckily, I haven't had to search too hard. I've started being aware of the moments when I feel relaxed and I'm making a concious effort to be mindful of it and enjoy that moment. Things like spending time at the cottage. Digging my toes in the sand. Going for a run in the middle of nowhere. Napping in Miguel's lap. Sharing breakfast with him on the back deck in the morning sunshine. And even writing this blog - with the hopes that my thoughts and experiences might reach even just one person.  All these things would never have had the same effect on the Niffer of 5 years ago. The Niffer of today, well, that's a different story. We're always evolving, and it never hurts to take the time to figure out what makes you feel safe, secure and whole again.

So tell me this: Are YOU good to you? How do you do it?

Toes in the sand! Ahhhhh!
Even Nandy knows how to relax.

Location: Middle of No Where.

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