My mother practiced excellent self-care. She had beautiful skin until the day she died. When my sister and I were children, we loved playing outside in the sun, and later as teens, sunbathing. The mantra we heard from our mother was, “Stay out of the sun between 10 and 2.” She must have said it 100 thousand times or more until it was instilled permanently in my mind.
She used to say that you should file your nails a little every day to strengthen the roots. I never had the patience for this. She did, and despite the incessant work of a farmer’s wife, she always had beautiful nails.
On the other hand, she was unable to rest. She did not believe in it and so her work was never done. Even on the rest day practiced by my family, she prepared special meals for that day. She would work until she became sick. Then once recovered, she would return to her pattern of working until she became sick again. Like all of us, she was great at some things and not so good at others.
My mother lived in a different time and place. The stresses of our time passed her by. Pollution, the unrelenting temptations of unhealthy food and drink, unsafe water, congested city traffic, increasing violence, and insecure employment, to name a few, escaped her.
In this day and age how do we care for ourselves so that we can live healthy and meaningful lives? Each of us is unique and requires different self-care techniques, so the answer is not easy.
As a psychotherapist, I provide an avenue of self-care by listening with a caring and thoughtful heart. In order to fit individual needs, together, you and I will explore passions, feelings, and experiences that bring to mind effective means to rejuvenate, recover, and rest.
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