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Survivor Story: September 2018

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When you stop to take a look at where you have been over the last 6 months, or even a year ago, it may look very different than where you are now. As the world turns, so does our own. What I have learned recently is that what we experienced in the past, or what we are currently walking through, can give us new perspectives, new direction and new challenges. Some may be gaining this new perspective, some may already be walking it, and some may not even think they need to see life differently than they do. I will say that wherever you are in your journey of life, self-care should always be with you.

Looking back on where I was at this time last year, I was discovering what self-care was, and why it was so important. Here is what I learned about self-care, it is necessary, important, and does not make you selfish. Taking time for yourself after supporting, providing or encouraging others in life is vital for your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Without self-care we are depleting ourselves entirely. You can’t give from an empty cup.

What is self-care? Self-care varies from person to person, and everyone does something differently. For me self-care is taking 30 minutes every morning before my kids get up, enjoying a cup of coffee, reading daily encouragements and reflecting on what I am grateful for. Other days it may be 10 minutes of free weights to engage my mind and muscles together to clear my mind and refocus, or taking a 15 minute walk alone with no electronics to just enjoy the quiet. There are no rules to what can be done, we each need something different to recharge.

Although I am sharing that self-care is necessary, important and vital, that is not something I was ever aware of myself. Having come out of a toxic relationship 18 months ago. Self-care was a foreign concept, something I never acknowledged I needed.  I was giving myself to the point of exhaustion, my cup was completely empty all the time. My focus was on pleasing and making my abusive partner happy and content, hoping for peace when I did everything I thought I was supposed to. Yet, it was still never enough. No one person should ever give so much of themselves that they become a worn out, exhausted individual, that is unable to enjoy anything else in life. Especially, after only giving to one person who never appreciates what you do for them anyways. Life is too short.

If you’re currently in a situation that mentally, emotionally and physically exhausts you, yet you’re unsure how to leave or even move forward. I challenge you to take a step back, breath in and breath out 10 times, close your eyes and picture a time or place that brings you peace. Everyone needs self-care, no matter who you are, and where you are in your life journey.

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