Why your self-care is vital to the planet

How my brain works when I’m sick:

Get out of bed.  Come on, do it!  You got it, you got it! Get out of bed. Awesome, you’re out.  Make coffee.  Make the coffee. Stand.  Wait for the coffee to be made.  Come on, coffee, hurry the fuck up!  Whoo!  Ok, drink the coffee.  Sit on the couch.  Breathe.  Make sure you’re breathing.  Fantastic.  Good work.  Keep breathing.  Now you must eat.  Make some food.  Find some food, look in the fridge, see if there’s food.  Take medicine.  What medicine do I need?  Just take a Dayquil, it seems to cover most things.  Take some medicine, eat some food.  Breathe.  Awesome.  Now take a shower.  Don’t forget to use the soap, don’t just stand in the hot water, use the soap and clean your body.  Awesome.  Shit, forgot a towel, cause I was too goddamn tired to think about whether or not there was a towel hanging up before I got in the shower.  So, run and get a towel, dry yourself off, find some clothes.  Put some clothes on.  Try to remember to look in the mirror, maybe doesn’t really matter.  See if you can coordinate colors, that’s cool. Brush your teeth, for sure brush your teeth, you talk to people all day. Brush your teeth.  Do your best, make em clean.  Ok, check the mirror cause you’re in the bathroom.  Doesn’t match?  Who gives a shit.  It doesn’t really matter, I’m breathing, I’m showered, my teeth are clean, I’ve eaten food (I think), I’ve taken medicine, I’ve got pants on.  Time to start my day.

How my brain works when I’m healthy:

Alright, I’m dressed and ready for work after already meditating and going to an early morning yoga class.  What a great morning so far!  I’m hungry.  What should I eat?  I really care about the planet and am interested in healing the world, so I am going to make pasture-raised eggs in ghee.  I’m going to add in the sustainable grown vegetables I purchased because I know they’re good for me and better for the planet.  I’ll get dressed and wear the clothes I made for myself.  I am proud of these clothes because I bought material that I like and used a pattern for clothes I know fit me well and look good on me and therefore I will wear them many, many times.  Which means I don’t need to buy a thousand cheap shirts from Walmart.  In fact, I even took the scraps from the material I cut the pattern from and I will use them for other items to be sewn later and the scraps that are too small will go for stuffing in a dog bed I am going to make later.  I have enough energy now to sit and write some blog ideas down in my notebook before I take my dogs for a walk and head off to work.

My brain when I am tired and sick is only capable of a few thoughts.  Mainly, survival.  How to feel better, how to stay alive.  This is true whether I have the flu, whether I am hung over, whether I have gotten into a habit of poor health choices or skipping my exercise.  As I get sicker or more tired, I am able to make less decisions about anything other than survival.

When I am taking care of myself, when I am making sure that my body is healthy, my mind is clear, when I have enough money, I am able to start thinking bigger.  Who else can I help?

When my body is healthy I have enough energy, and I can smile at other people, I can put in extra effort to make quality items, I can recycle and reuse, open the door for someone, think about a friend and make a phone call.

When my mind is clear I can problem-solve, not just for myself, but with my husband, my friends and family and with my clients.  I can think positively about the future and make plans to make that future happen.

When I have enough money I can focus on spending it on things that I care about.  I can make a choice to spend an extra couple of dollars on meat that comes from an animal that has been treated well throughout its life before being killed in a humane manner.   I can buy vegetables from a local farm, grown without pesticides.  I can spend more money on clothing or items that are not created in a sweatshop in a foreign country and that I will take care of and use many times instead of throwing them away.

So you see, your self-care is important to me.  I need you to take care of yourself so you have the energy to participate.  I need you to take care of yourself so we can make a healthy planet for the next generation.  I need you to feel healthy so you can care about the welfare of animals and the rainforest.  I need you to love yourself so you have the emotional health to love others.  I need your mind to be clear so you can see the truth about how important you are, how important your message is, so you can share that with us.  We need each other.  My self-care is important to the planet, to the health and wellness of all beings.  So is yours.  Please take the time and do one thing to care for yourself today.

Author: Mary Preston, LMFT

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach. Through dealing with my own anxiety and attention difficulties over the years I have discovered many useful practices and tools to help regain focus, shift my attention to what's important and to stay organized enough to get the life that I want. In my practice I work primarily with women and children with Anxiety, ADHD and Depression and I share what I've learned to get them back on track to living a full, purpose filled life.

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