One thing I think too many of us take for granted is our physical state. We're so busy that we don't worry about taking care of ourselves. I can see why, in a way. With all of our responsibilities, it can seem like self-care is a full time job in itself - and a job we don't have time for. You can't neglect it, though. And I think we all have to learn that lesson the hard way. We don't realize until we're flat on our back sick - or injured - that our health is the foundation of everything.
You know what I mean. You push yourself to the brink until your body can't take it anymore, and one day, you crash. Tell me, how many of you have been knocked out by the flu this winter? Come on, folks. Germs are only so much to blame. You're body can fight off a lot, if you take care of it. The problem is, we don't.
I'm just as guilty as the next person. I don't eat right all of the time. I'm on and off my exercise routine so much that I'm ashamed of myself. And I used to have a bad habit of staying up too late and skimping on sleep while I had novels in progress or during busy times, until the past year, when I realized I simply couldn't function on skipping on sleep anymore. That was one habit I had no choice but to break. In fact, I changed my work schedule late last summer to help in that endeavor. Extra time int he mornings has been the best thing I've done for myself in a long time.
The truth is that the body isn't going to tolerate neglect for too long. It will break down and fail you unless you take proper care of it. That's why it's imperative that you take care of yourself - because frankly, if your body isn't in good shape then you aren't going to be as effective and efficient as you could be. Taking the time to take care of yourself pays off by making the rest of your work and efforts more productive. You work better when you're well rested. You have more energy when you eat right and exercise. You concentrate better when you take time out each day to rest, relax, and spend time doing things you enjoy. All work and no play doesn't only make Jack a dull boy, but it makes him dysfunctional as well. Proper balance means taking care of yourself so you can take care of your responsibilities.
This is something I have to be reminded of from time to time. Rick recently asked me about getting back to my resolution of getting on the treadmill. I got sick with my sinuses recently, and ironically I slipped from that one, already. I reasoned that I might as well work on finalizing my novel since I couldn't exercise, but I got better and, well, finishing the novel was more interesting that the treadmill. And I do feel better when I exercise regularly. I know I need to make it a habit in my life again. I'm working on it, like so many other people are working on making themselves better so they can have a better life.
Yes, it's a struggle, I know. There's so much to do. But don't do it at the expense of yourself. There's just too much at stake, and when it come to mind or body, well, body usually wins. Because if you don't have your health, you don't have anything.
That's all today. Have a great week.
It's T-minus 10 days until Christmas and counting. Are you ready?
I'm not either. Yes, I feel your pain.
As we enter peak holiday prep time, I'd like to offer some tips on making life easier during these hectic days. These are good tips all the time, and hopefully you can implement them now to find some relief from holiday stress.
1. Follow the instructions. Even if you think they're stupid. Even if you think you know a better way. Even if you think you're better than that. They're there for a reason, and following them will save everybody time and frustration - especially you.
2. Use the calendar function on your devices. Even the most basic cell phone has a calendar feature, so there's no excuse for missing appointments, functions or deadlines if your schedule is on a device that you have with you all the time.
3. Set priorities and organize your life by them. It's literally impossible to do everything, so you have to decide what's the most important. Take stock of your life and to-do list and organize your schedule in these remaining days according to what matters the most.
4. Be sure you get enough sleep. It's easy to skimp on sleep when your schedule is full and a few more minutes - or hours - would help, and that's dangerous. Getting enough sleep is the secret to staying healthy, energetic, and alert so you can accomplish more in the other 16 hours of the day.
5. Take a timeout this weekend. I don't care how long your "to do" list is - you need time for yourself before family descends on you for the blessed season of celebration. Don't go into the next two weeks tired, stressed out, and frazzled. Take at least a few hours to do something for yourself: Read a book, watch a movie, go out to a good dinner, or just sleep in Saturday morning. Trust me, it will give you the energy you need to cross the finish line.
And in closing, I urge you to remember the reason for the season. Christmas isn't about decorations, parties, and presents. It's about Christ and the give of our salvation. Sometimes the celebration overshadows the reason we're doing everything we're doing all of this. I'll have more on this as we get closer to Christmas.
Ok folks, there's not much time yet but we'll make it by the grace of God, like we do every year. Take care, and I hope these tips will help you preserve your sanity now, when you need it the most.