Monday, November 22, 2010

Take Care of Yourself

Last night, before bed, I was reading in one of the stack of al-anon books I got from half dot com (oh, how I love that website for inexpensive used books!!!). These sentences jumped out at me: Take care of yourself. You are worth it!

This morning, I got up with the alarm and went to mass/prayer. Then I came home, noted that the final for my last class was, in fact, available to take, and wandered upstairs to change into my running gear. DH is on vacation this week, so I am able to run, solo, on the trail.

This morning, I noticed the bareness of the trees. Only last week there were more leaves than limbs as I ran through the woods. Today, only a few stubborn leaves still clung to the branches. I ran steadily, in the morning quiet, not really focusing on any one thought or prayer, just doing my best to be present in the moment. In and out, I breathed. Songs led one into another as I ran along, smiling and greeting the other early-morning walkers and runners on the path.

Somewhere along the return-half of the trip, my mind remembered the sentences I'd copied into my notebook last night. Take care of yourself. You're worth it. What necessary and important advice. Somehow, instinctively, I knew to do that a few weeks ago. I knew, as I started this process of recovery, that my emotions would be raw and tender, and that I had better take good care of my body and spiritual life if I were to be able to handle all that this process will dredge up.

A few years ago, I would never have thought of running as a way to take care of myself. What a gift it is that I've developed this habit... that I now need to run, to care for myself and to make the demons more manageable. I've also been doing my best to eat healthy, nutritious foods and to avoid the sugar which makes me a little crazy under "normal" circumstances. And, of course, I've been very faithful in attending to my prayer life.

Before I'd even read those sentences, I knew instinctively to take care of myself during this difficult time. I'm not sure where or how I knew that, but I always credit God when I'm unsure of the source.

So, I wonder, do you know how important it is to take care of yourself when you are experiencing an unusual amount of stress in one part of your life-- physical, through illness; emotional, through loss, grief, recovery, etc; or spiritual, through a dry spell or "dark night?"

We are both body and spirit. When one part is hurting, it is critical that we care for the other part, and in the process, hopefully, find healing.


  1. I have learned how to take care of myself when I feel depressed. Joyce Meyer wrote a book called, "Battlefield of the Mind," which has tools to use to control emotions. I quote scripture until the sadness goes away - and this works wonders for me.
    Also, she says to, "Think on purpose." Don't just go with your thoughts if they are negative. This also helps me. It is good to hear how you are taking care of yourself also.

  2. Belle, I like that: "think on purpose." I will have to incorporate that into my "program."

    Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!