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Have a Balanced Life for Better Self-Care

A lot of us have always thought that we have had a good handle on taking care of ourselves. We have a great network of friends, a passion that helps to release stress and maintain our health, hobbies that we enjoy, and favorite spots where we go to connect with nature. But then there are times that we realize how fragile, and important, the concept of taking care of ourselves is.

I have experienced losses: my mother died, I lost my job, my unemployment benefits ended, I was not getting jobs I really wanted, my car was inoperable for a few months, temporary employment was barely enough to pay my bills (and sometimes not even that), and then the relationship with the one person who was my rock during it all ended. 

Often, it is not a single event that causes us to feel empty, but a sequence of events. Each event pokes a hole in our internal bucket of resilience. With each hole, a little more of the happiness, energy, and positivity inside leaks out – until there is nothing left inside us. But what if our bucket is not filled with a single element, but a liquid blend composed of ingredients from all aspects of life? Think about it.

Sometimes, despite all the good things, we still feel “off-balance”. Even with a great support system, a strong spiritual belief, friends who keep you laughing, or moments of relaxation are not enough to completely recharge us when we are missing something like financial security or being productive at work. Although everyone kept telling me to remain positive, look on the bright side, keep hope alive and be patient for things to work out, it was hard to hold on when I felt like everything was out of control. 

A lot of the emotions are the same feelings a child or family member may feel when things like an illness, injury, hospitalization or death interrupts life. As people with caring personality, it is both our job and our nature to support the needs of others. But not if we are not whole. As the line from the airline safety speech goes, we need to remember to take care of our own needs before we attempt to care for others.

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