Self-care, Essential or Just Hype?

I have to admit, this one is tough for me. The pressure of competing interests, be it related to achieving my own personal goals or to meeting others' needs, leaves little time for it in my busy life.

I make excuses not to take care of myself. I'm too busy, too stressed or simply just overloaded with other priorities. Then I get resentful, most resentful of the people who seem to be siphoning my energy and monopolizing my time.

Sound familiar?

I'll bet it does. Any service or working animal user knows what I'm talking about.

When Max got sick, all, and I do mean all, of my resources went into him. All of my time, energy and money was spent fighting cancer. Self-care was not even a thought, let alone any kind of priority.

(To those of you who saw this and supported us, thank you so much. Speaking only for myself, I could not have gotten through that time without you.)

What I realize today is that had I taken even minutes out of the day to practice self-care then, I would have been a better caretaker for Max. I would have been less resentful and more prepared for what was to come. 

Today, self-care is a regular part of my routine. It is essential to me, my well being and to my ability to be there for others.

Some great self-care recommendations related to the animal loss process, can be found in the Paws to Grace ebook:

They include: • Learn all you can about the illness: What you can expect, what may happen next. • One day at a time. There will be good days and bad days. • Take time away. Even one hour to focus on something other than caregiving can do wonders for your state of mind. • Keep a journal. Recording your events emotions can provide a release and help you recognize if your stress is getting to be too much. • Ask for help from friends and family: Many times people who love you want to help, but don’t know how. • Stay in touch with your sense of humor. There can be moments of laughter even in the darkest situations. Allow yourself to laugh. • Remember: Your pet loves you. He or she does not fear death. If what you are doing comes from a place of love, that is all you need to focus on.

What do you think? Click on this article and comment below. I'd be interested in your thoughts and in the chance to support you in group.