Self-Care Guest Blog by Beth

Hi, I’m Beth and I am the Operations Manager at 1N5.  I’m a wife, mom, grandma, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and a dog-lover.  I work and I play and sometimes I struggle with my mental health.  As today’s 1N5 guest blogger, I’d like to share my self-care thoughts.

Doofenschmirtz (AKA Doof) is my rescue pup but I’m not sure who rescued who.  Doof is my hiking buddy and absolutely loves our trail time but he is not fond of the car.  It could have something to do with the car trip we took that involved him vomiting in the backseat all over the kid who said, “one French fry won’t hurt him”.  When he sees me in my hiking boots with his leash in hand he runs.  He knows where we are going but cannot see beyond his fear of the car.

When it comes to self-care, I am like Doof not wanting to get in the car. I know the benefit of a self-care routine.  I know that taking care of myself is essential but getting started isn’t easy.  Why do I resist?  Am I afraid I am neglecting others if I put myself first?  Is it because I worry about everything else I need to do? Does it feel selfish?  I’m not sure why I struggle with it but I try to take a lesson from Doof…have faith, do the work and the result will be amazing.

My favorite self-care practice is exploring nature.  It’s discovering new places or noticing changes on a trail I’ve walked dozens of times.  Sometimes I love the solitude of being alone and other times I welcome the opportunity to chat with other like-minded people along the way.  My hikes are always for my health…sometimes I am motivated physically, sometimes mentally, but usually both.  I can feel the muscles in my calves burn on a steep climb or I can feel my shoulders loosen as stress melts at a creek crossing.  I can set a time goal and make it a competition or I can walk mindfully, unaware of my pace.  There’s a path through the woods that I can follow but I get to choose which way and how far to go.

Self-care can be hard and sometimes I get turned around but if I stick with it, even if that means retracing my steps, I can get where I need to be…stronger, healthier, happier.  I know that taking care of myself strengthens my mind, body and spirit so that when the hard things come, and they will, I am where I need to be to face them.  That is why self-care works. And I know that when my emotional tank starts trending to empty, I can drag Doof hiking and fuel back up with gratitude, self-love, strength, compassion and confidence.