Skeleton Self Care in Challenging Times



I hesitated using the word “challenging” for this post because there are also many joyful, exciting, fun times in our lives that require so much energy, time, and focus that we run the risk of ignoring basic self-care needs which can lead to burnout and sickness.  But ultimately, it tends to be the times that are laced with challenge that head us toward overwhelm and breakdown.

It has been a very transitional year for our family.  Within this year we have sold a home, had a second child, moved into a rental home, bought a new home, done needed renovations and are now packing to move once again.  All incredibly exciting, blessed things — and stretching us to our limits in terms of mental stamina, physical energy, and emotional balance.

When the times begin to really feel intense, I remind myself to stay committed to a bare-bones daily plan for my basic upkeep.

When I say bare-bones, I literally mean what must you try to do on a daily basis to give yourself some support and nourishment toward staying healthy, GIVEN WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW IN LIFEThis is so key.  For me, daily stretches of quiet time, long walks in nature, robust home cooked meals daily, and weekly massages would do worlds of good, keeping me feeling in top condition.  But realistically, I have so much on my plate, those goals would be abandoned in a microsecond if I tried to make them daily objectives.

For the next month, as the last bits of renovation and our move are completed (with two little ones in tow — one of which is going through a crazy NO SLEEP stretch), these are my “skeleton goals”:

  1. Take daily vitamins and cod liver oil supplements.
  2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water.
  3. Prioritize rest whenever I can. (Yes, even if this means a room does not get packed or a blog article does not get written).
  4. Get a shower in daily. (I am shocked, as a fairly new mom, how many times this is a difficult thing to accomplish!)

Now to be fair, there are days just getting these 4 things in feels too much — and other days when I am able to make healthy meals and steal away some time for a walk or a cup of tea…but I don’t set myself up for expecting more than my life will realistically allow.

I often return to the bare-bones self-care list at all sorts of times in my life, whether they are particularly challenging or not — because to give yourself clear and very doable bottom-line goals that work toward keeping you well, keeps you in the habit of seeing your own health and wellness as important.  And it tends to help you stay above sea-level when the going gets tough.

What are your bare-bones self-care needs, right now in life? Lisa